About Coney Island USA
Coney Island USA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation based in the amusement park area of the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn New York. In existence since 1980, Coney Island USA has developed and produces a number of different programs including some of New York City’s best loved summer programming, such as the Mermaid Parade and the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. Coney Island USA also operates the Coney Island Museum and produces Ask the Experts, Burlesque at the Beach, the Coney Island Tattoo and Motorcycle Festival, Creepshow at the Freakshow, and the Coney Island Sideshow School. Coney Island USA also produces the Coney Island Film Society and the Coney Island Film Festival in association with indiefilmpage.com
The purpose of Coney Island USA is to defend the honor of American popular culture through innovative exhibitions and performances.
The distinct mission of Coney Island USA is to operate a multi-arts center offering museum and theater programming, thereby leading the cultural revival of a downtrodden but historic landmark neighborhood. Through an imaginative and innovative approach combining the performing and visual arts, Coney Island USA seeks to revitalize the community from which it takes its name, attracting international recognition and visitors while providing low-cost services to a mass, working class New York City audience, including the young and the old, the art and the family oriented. Coney Island USA interprets the past and experiments with the future of American popular culture and offers a growing panoply of arts events and exhibitions rooted in the traditions of P.T. Barnum, vaudeville and Coney Island itself.
Coney Island USA was founded in the belief that 19th century American popular culture gave birth to a democratic cultural golden age, unique to this country’s history and indispensable to its future. This new age not only invented the Broadway musical, it gave the world jazz, the blues and many new forms of performing and visual arts that emerged from and looked to the populist masses. Now, limited arts funding tends to favor the conservative and classical fine arts, underestimating the seminal qualities of the popular arts, instead abandoning the populist arts to the mutli-billion dollar mass media industries. But the honky-tonk subculture that was once uniquely Coney Island has reemerged as a post-modern trend in entertainment and art. The world is cautiously, slowly, but most certainly reawakening to the importance of Coney Island in American popular culture, and what it stands for. Coney Island USA is there to document, preserve and further the unique arts for the masses, providing national perspective, professional dedication and quality programming for Coney Island as it heads into the 21st century.
Origins & Organization
Coney Island USA is an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization (and a tax deductible charity) founded in 1980 by Costa Mantis, Jane Savitt-Tennen and Dick D. Zigun. Coney Island USA is governed by a Board of Directors currently composed of Dick D. Zigun, Mark Alhadeff, Jeff Birnbaum, Kate Dale, John di Domenico, Fred Kahl, Marie Roberts, James Quigley, Betsy Bradley, Sarah Eisinger, Harris Falk, Steve Yaros. Legal Advice is provided by Gibson, Dunn & Crutscher, LLP, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz, PC; financial advice is provided by Chris Yeboa, CPA, Yeboa & Lawrence, CPAs, & Business Consultants.
Coney Island USA is funded, in part, by The Lily Auchincloss Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Fund for the City of New York; the Independence Community Foundation, the Lemberg Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York Community Trust, the New York Council for the Humanities, the New York State Council on the Arts, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia and our loyal members.
Dick D. Zigun, Executive Artistic Director - dzigun(at)coneyisland.com
Tim Pendrell, Development Director/Sponsorship - tim(at)coneyisland.com
Rob Leddy, PR/Marketing, Webmaster, Film Festival Director - rob(at)coneyisland.com
Debi Ryan, Controller - debi(at)coneyisland.com
Patrick Wall, House Manager, Bookings & Rentals - patrick(at)coneyisland.com
Laure Leber, Gift Shop Manager - laure(at)coneyisland.com
Kate Wirth, Assistant House Manager
Tim Porter, Project Manager
General Contact Info
Phone 718-372-5159. This number is for Coney Island USA related business only. For information on other Coney Island attractions, see our Tourist Information page.