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.Childs Resaurant building
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 (Founder), David Gratt (Treasurer), Aaron Beebe (Secretary), Mark Alhadeff (President), Steve Bernstein, Jeff Birnbaum, Kate Dale (Director, Creepshow at the Freakshow), John di Domenico, Fred Kahl (Director, Burlesque at the Beach), Rob Leddy (Director, Coney Island Film Festival), Linda Meier, and Marie Roberts (Artist in Residence). Legal Advice is provided by Gibson Dunn & Crutscher, LLP, and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC; financial advice is provided by Brian Carr, CPA; licensing expertise is provided by Dave Landesberg.
1. Coney Island Development must create a world class amusement park for the 21st century.
2. We operate a multi-arts center offering museum and theater programming, leading the cultural revival of Brooklyn's famous amusement community.
3. We are a national showcase for Sideshow revival, the Neo Burlesque movement, Independent Film and the Mermaid Parade.
4. Support our Programs-Become a member at http://www.coneyisland.com