Nonprofit organization Coney Island USA cancels, postpones its major events due to the pandemic

A Coney Island nonprofit organization is struggling to stay afloat amid the pandemic.
Coney Island USA, a nonprofit organization which aims to preserve the history and artistic flair of the people's playground, had to cancel or postpone all of their programming for the foreseeable future.
Founder and artistic director Dick Zigun says a lot of the organization programs "fall into what mayor de Blasio is calling category 4, the last things to reopen." Zigun says it's been difficult, but he's optimistic that one way or another, they'll make it through.

"We are really having a hard time with our budget. Fortunately, we own our buildings," says Zigun.

Coney Island USA is the organization behind the Sideshow by The Seashore. They also put on theatrical productions and host a Coney Island Film Festival and a museum. The iconic Mermaid Parade is organized by the group as well.

Zigun, who calls himself the unelected mayor of Coney Island, has been providing a weekly state of Coney Island address.

"I know a lot of people who are afraid and sick and I also know a lot of people who are heroes and who are brave," says Zigun.

He says for now, the group is focused on finding creative ways to continue their programming safely, especially the Mermaid Parade.

"Let the playwrights try and figure out how to ideally do live theater without endangering the audience. It sounds impossible, but it's a secret idea," says Zigun.