- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Coney Island Museum
Coney Island USA exists to defend the honor of American popular culture through innovative exhibitions and performances. Presenting and producing exciting new works, our approach is rooted in mass culture and the traditions of P.T. Barnum, dime museums, burlesque, circus sideshows, vaudeville, and Coney Island itself. Preserving and championing a set of uniquely American visual and performing art forms, we seek to create an international forum for cultural preservation and discourse, and where Coney Island represents these impulses, we strive to make it once again a center for live art and entrepreneurial spirit.
Coney Island USA operates a multi-arts center in a landmark building in the heart of Coney Island. We produce and present programming in three unique venues: the Coney Island Museum, Sideshows by the Seashore and the Shooting Gallery/Arts Annex. Serving both New York City and an international community that includes visitors to Coney Island and enthusiasts of various cultural forms, our signature activities include the Mermaid Parade, the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, the Coney Island Museum, Coney Island Film Festival and new theatrical work.
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 Jeff Birnbaum, Mark Alhadeff, Jane Crotty, Kate Dale, Carol Spawn Desmond, John di Domenico, Harris Falk, Marie Roberts, James Quigley, Anita Durst, Jon Dohlin, David Loewy, Lisa Mangels-Schaefer, Dick D. Zigun. 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 New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York Council for the Humanities (2014 Congress of Curious Peoples, Coney Island USA's 2012 Disaster Recovery grant), Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, New York City Councilman Mark Treyger and our loyal members.
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, Congress of Curious Peoples, Coney Island Film Society, Coney Island Film Festival, Coney Island Hotrod and Tattoo Festival, Funhouse Philosophers, Creepshow at the Freakshow, Magic at Coney!!! and the Coney Island Sideshow School.