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Coney Island USA Hosts Circus And Sideshow Arts Celebration

The Congress of Curious Peoples is a two weekend-long celebration of circus performers.

Coney Island USA, south Brooklyn’s not-for-profit arts organization, will open its doors for performances and lectures for this year’s Congress of Curious Peoples, a two weekend-long celebrations of unusual performers and personalities revolving around circus and sideshow arts. 

A weekend pass for all live events includes the Friday night induction ceremony, all weekend shows, the Joe Coleman interview and event poster. Tickets are $100 in advance, or $110 at the door. The events schedule is listed below. For more information visit

Friday, March 29

Opening Night: Sideshow Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony
Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
7:00 p.m., doors at 6:00 p.m.

Join the esteemed panel of scholars and sideshow professionals as they welcome the 2024 Sideshow Hall of Fame inductees.

Categories: ‘Born Different’, ‘Self Inflicted’, ‘Working Act’, ‘Attraction’, ‘Show Folk’ Sideshow Hall of Fame Presenters include: Dr. Jeffrey Birnbaum, Kate Dale, Aurora North, James Fitzsimmons and James Taylor

With a passion spanning over four decades, Jim Moore has dedicated himself to capturing the essence of eccentric performing arts. His journey includes notable appearances in the Oscar-winning documentary "Man on Wire" and his published work "Don't Miss This! A Decade of Eccentric Performing Arts," which clinched the NY Big Book Award. Moore's artistic endeavors have graced the halls of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts through two exhibitions and have been featured in numerous revered books and magazines.

At the heart of Moore's contribution to the arts is his blog, "," a venerable chronicle of interviews and photographs that serves as the definitive resource for enthusiasts of the eccentric. His creative flair extends beyond the written word, as evidenced by his award-winning short silent film "The Ridiculous Romantic," which was honored at the Coney Island Film Festival. 

Not one to rest on his laurels, Moore has ventured into the realm of publishing, establishing Vaudevisuals Press LLC and Outside Talker Press, with six books in print. Moore remains deeply engaged in the excitement of documenting emerging performance artists, perpetuating his legacy as a visionary chronicler of the avant-garde.

With a special performance by The Brides; Aurora North and Faux Pas LeFae.

Saturday, March 30

Joe Coleman Presents: True Crime and Wax Museums In Coney Island
An interview about the connections between true crime and wax museums in Coney Island on film
Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
4:00 p.m.

Joe Coleman is a world-renowned painter, writer, historian, and performer who has exhibited for four decades in major museums throughout the world including one-man exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, the Barbican Centre in London, Tilton Gallery and Dickinson Gallery in New York. He was featured in the "Unrealism" show in Miami presented by Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian. He is currently represented by Andrew Edlin Gallery, NYC

Coleman’s performance work in the 1980s was some of the most radical of its time, and can be seen in the films Mondo New York (1988) and Captured (2008). The book on extreme performance, Avant Garde from Below: Transgressive Performance from Iggy Pop to Joe Coleman and G.G. Allin by Clemens Marschall, explores Coleman's influence during this pivotal period.

An avid and passionate collector, Coleman's "Odditorium" is a private museum where sideshow objects, wax figures, crime artifacts and works of religious devotion live together to form a dark mirror that reflects the alternative side of the American psyche. His work has been published in numerous books, prints and records.

Joe Coleman was the subject of an award-winning feature-length documentary, "Rest in Pieces: A Portrait of Joe Coleman (1997)." He has appeared in acting roles in films such as Asia Argento's "Scarlet Diva (2000)" and "The Cruel Tale of the Medicine Man (2015)." He appears as himself in the Lower East Side episode of Anthony Bourdain’s "Parts Unknown." 

Filmmaker Heather Buckley will be conducting the interview.

Joe Coleman Presents: True Crime In Coney Island
A Curated Vice Filled Burlesque Show
Sideshows by the Seashore Theater
8:00 p.m.

Some of Joe’s favorite neo-burlesque denizens of the dark will be performing in this hand-picked extravaganza celebrating vice, crime, and of course, Coney Island. Featuring Jo Boobs, Jonny Porkpie, Gal Friday, Cheeky Lane, Tigger, Aurora North, Faux Pas LeFae and Miss Cherry Delight.

Art and Oddities Market
Shooting Gallery Arts Annex and Freak Bar
Noon to 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 31

Coney Island Sideshow Banner Pop Up Paper Engineering Workshop With Erin Mathewson
Coney Island Museum
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Erin is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary illustrator, designer, and paper engineer. Her favorite subjects to depict are Coney Island and sideshow/circus. She loves incorporating the elements of surprise that come with pop-up paper engineering into these subjects. You can often find her vending at markets in Coney Island. Follow her at @ErinsEtceteras.

Learn the basics of Pop-up Paper Engineering while assembling a fun 3D Pop-up Sideshow Banner. Learn how simple folds and layers can add dimension and depth creating unique and interesting art. 

Cardone Live!
Sideshows by the Seashore Theater Show
3:00 p.m.

Cardone is an award-winning entertainer that works as a full-time professional magician for private, corporate, celebrity and nightclub functions. He has performed over 3,000 shows as a magician and variety entertainer.

As a published songwriter and musician Cardone is the bass player for the internationally known touring rock band the “Toilet Boys.”

Cardone also performs as an escape artist and is the first man to perform the deadly Milk Can Escape at Coney Island, USA. Cardone was inducted the prestigious order of Merlin from the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

His new adventure is a new YouTube channel called "Cardone Entertainment" that has four different programs and runs live shows weekly. He is also in the process of writing a book on real Magic!

Cardone’s performance will be followed by an interview with Coney Island USA’s Artistic Director, Adam Rinn.

Art and Oddities Market
Shooting Gallery Arts Annex and Freak Bar
Noon to 5:00 p.m.