So I am going to simply re-print what the Bindlestiff Family Circus already has out there on Facebook. So these are their words not mine. I was actually at this gig, but I was hired at the last minute by the Armory directly so I was witness to the amazing job Bindlestiff did, and I can attest that their performers were professional, on time, in beautiful professional costumes and worked extremely hard to make the event the best it could be. They also worked three or four days straight and a long 8 hour day each day they were booked. Doing the variety arts for 8 hours straight is grueling. Juggling, walking stilts, doing shows etc. is not exactly light work.
So this is what the Bindlestiff Family Circus just put on Facebook. It is every small business owners nightmare to have a larger contractor do this.
‘We are seeking no interest loans and donations in order to fulfill our financial obligation to all of the artists involved. We are also seeking support to help finance necessary improvements that were to be covered by the payment from Hickey Shields Design.
In October 2010 Hickey Shields Design hired Bindlestiff Family Cirkus to provide strolling and stage performers for the Park Avenue Armory Carnival in NYC. The event was a fundraiser for the Park Avenue Armory. Hickey Shields Design was paid by the Park Avenue Armory for our services. Hickey Shields Design has not fulfilled their obligation to Bindlestiff., Over thirty artists were hired by Bindlestiff to be a part of the event. The artists exceeded all expectations and were responsible for the amazing success of the event. At the end of the event, Hickey Shields Design was supposed to pay Bindlestiff in full. This has not happened.
On three separate occasions, Hickey Shields has ignored payment dates. Josh Hickey continues to ignore our appeals and has made no attempt to create a payment plan. Bindlestiff has paid most of the artists involved with our own funds, leaving Bindlestiff in a financially fragile position.
Hickey Shields owes us $26,700. We filed a legal complaint against Hickey Shields Design, and since then have learned that Hickey Shields Design is not a recognized corporation, and are adding JoshHickey, Inc. and Josh Hickey to the complaint. Because of filing costs and limits on certain court proceedings, our complaint is for $25,000, thus no matter what, we have already lost money on this event.
Josh continues to produce high end events in Europe and in the US. His facebook page promotes his most recent accomplishments as some of his greatest yet. But he continues to ignore his contractual obligations to us, not to mention many of other individuals involved in the Park Avenue Armory Carnival.
We have informed NYC Department of Cultural Affairs of the situation and will be bringing the situation to the attention of New York State Council on the Arts. We are keeping the Bindlestiff Family Board of Directors up-to-date on the process. We have talked to the Park Avenue Armory, and although they are saddened by the situation, there does not seem to be anything they can do to assist us through these trying financial and legal times.
We have paid the majority of the artists involved in the event. However, we are still short of paying approximately $9000 to artists. Having to pay the artists out of Bindlestiff’s own pocket is having dramatic effects on some basic needs for Bindlestiff including insurance, promotions for upcoming productions, and a replacement van, the workhorse of Bindlestiff. A replacement van is needed by mid April, though a lack of a down payment may force us to seek some sort of alternative.
Bindlestiff is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization keeping the variety arts alive. The financial impact of Hickey Shields Design’s lack of promised compensation is making it difficult for us to continue meeting our mission at the level we strive for.
We are looking for ways to appeal to Josh Hickey and Hickey Shields in order to get him to start fulfilling his contractual obligations. Until then, we struggle and and look forward to putting this situation behind us.
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A 501(c)(3) nonprofit