The Coney Island History Project, founded in 2004, is a not-for-profit organization that aims to increase awareness of Coney Island's legendary and colorful past and to encourage appreciation of the Coney Island neighborhood of today. Our mission is to record, archive and share oral history interviews; provide access to historical artifacts and documentary material through educational exhibits, events and a website; and honor community leaders and amusement pioneers through our Coney Island Hall of Fame. Emphasizing community involvement, the History Project teaches young people the techniques of oral history and develops programs in conjunction with
local schools, museums, and other organizations.
Our public programs began in 2005 with the opening of the Coney Island Hall of Fame, an exhibit that honors influential figures in history, and Coney Island Voices
, an oral history archive that preserves the stories and memories of people who visited or lived and worked in Brooklyn's famous playground. In 2006 we sponsored a major Coney Island photography exhibition at the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. We also continued our local history learning programs with students at Mark Twain Junior High School, the Global Studies School, Brooklyn College, and the South Brooklyn Youth Consortium. In 2007, we presented slide talks at the American Museum of Folk Art and Brooklyn College, and inaugurated our public exhibition center under the Cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island.
We are now entering our most exciting year yet, with our sixth season and our newly expanded exhibition center on West 12th Street below the Wonder Wheel. Throughout the 2012 season, the center offers an extensive program of exhibits, performances, tours, and other events
The History Project was founded by Carol Hill Albert and Jerome Albert in honor of Dewey Albert, creator of Astroland Park. Executive director Charles Denson is a Coney Island native, a noted historian, and the author of the award-winning book Coney Island: Lost and Found. The project has received grants from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, New York City Councilman Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., the State of New York Empire Grant, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Johanna Favrot Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Con Edison, New York Community Trust, Brooklyn Arts Council, JPMorgan Chase Foundation and Lily Auchincloss Foundation and the support of History Project co-founders Carol and Jerry Albert, owners and operators of Astroland Park and the Cyclone roller coaster. Historians and members of the amusement community and the local neighborhood serve on our advisory board.