138 Sullivan St.
New York, NY
Subway: C train/Spring St.

OPENS July 8, 2010, 6-8pm
Runs until July 15, 2010

New York, NY – June 2010 – An anti-violence solo cartoon show by London artist JAK.
Contributors: Lexxx Luthor,, Keiko Niwa, The Coney Island Museum, The Tenement Museum, Ethan Kavet and Wine tasting provided by WINERIUM. Sponsors: Tekserve, Brooklyn Brewery, Coney Island USA, WINERIUM.
How the event came about: In 2007 Naquan Brown, a 21-year-old employee of the New York Aquarium was shot dead in Coney Island. Naquan was killed simply because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unfortunately this is not a rare event. Nine people were murdered in Coney Island in 2009. Twenty-four were injured. Gang related violence is not a modern phenomenon in Coney Island. In 1908 gangster Kid Twist was murdered on the Coney Island boardwalk by another gangster Louie the Lump. Al Capone was a bouncer in Coney Island. For over a hundred years Coney Island has not only been the epicenter of amusements, it has also attracted violence. “Circus of the Soul’ samples the dangerous cocktail of pleasure and violence in Coney Island. It is dedicated to Naquan Brown and others like him.

JAK: Award winning abstract cartoonist was (literally) conceived in an amusement and popular beach destination called Brighton in England. Carnivals and fairgrounds continued to fascinate JAK into adulthood. For JAK, Coney Island exacts a magnetic charm.

Components: Sampling Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem ‘A Coney Island of the Mind’, JAK – through a cartoon protagonist and gang member Buck Wabbit – journeys in a mythical 1910 New York City. This is a metropolis with Internet and I-phones. Through modern networks: YouTube, Twitter, Blogger and Facebook, the public can interact with Buck. 16 large LCD screens project a 32-image portrait of Buck Wabbit’s gang life. In a downstairs auditorium guests can view a short infomercial about Coney Island gangs followed by a Q & A by community leader Mathylde Frontus. ‘Circus of the Soul’ offers a pulp montage biography of Coney Island 1910-2010. VIP and guests to be announced.

Affiliated community organizations
Urban Neighborhood Services, Inc; Coney Island Coalition Against Violence

Mathylde Frontus (Founder of Urban Neighborhood Services, Inc, Co-chair of Coney Island Coalition Against Violence): “As a long-time Coney Island resident who has personally witnessed the damaging effects of violence on the youth and families of our historically significant community, I applaud “Circus of the Soul’s attempt to highlight the plight of every day urban youth who struggle to make the right decisions.”

Thank you!