Over the last few years, we’ve been covering the annually-released New York City Taxi Drivers Calendar. The hilarious photo collection features “12 scintillating and good-humored yellow cab drivers” who are celebrated as the unsung heroes of modern city life. The creators of the calendar series—husband and wife duo photographer Shannon Kirkman and creative director Philip Kirkman—have recently released the 2020 edition of the calendar, which is sadly its the last one ever.
“When we started this project, its sole purpose was to make you laugh,” say the Kirkmans. “But that quickly evolved as we met and formed relationships with the drivers. Most shared stories of immigration, family, and sacrifice, paired with round-the-clock efforts to survive a struggling taxi industry.” The couple started the project in 2013, when they decided to make a calendar featuring Philip's brother, as a gift for his wife. As they spent more and more time getting to know the NYC Taxi driver industry, they learned that 90% of drivers are immigrants, and they wanted to help support this misrepresented group.
A portion of each calendar sale goes to University Settlement, America’s oldest settlement house (1886), based in New York City. The social service institution provides education, housing, and wellness opportunities to over 40,000 immigrant and working individuals and families every year. Since the Kirkmans began making and selling their annual NYC Taxi Drivers Calendars 7 years ago, they’ve been able to donate over $70,000 to the worthy cause.
“Over the course of 80+ photo shoots, these intrepid men and women stepped outside their comfort zones to be part of a project that we hope has been as humanizing as it has been funny.” From silly poses and “sexy” topless shots, the calendar will no doubt make you chuckle, but it also offers an important representation of NYC’s immigrant community. Ten of the twelve featured drivers in the 2020 edition hail from eight different countries. One female driver named Arminda originally came to the U.S. in 1963 from Colombia as a single mother. “She has such a great spirit and personality,” reveals Kirkman. “[She] worked a few odd jobs for ~10 years to keep her family afloat, and then took up taxi driving in the 1970s.” That’s over 40 years as a NYC cabbie!
Check out the funny images from the 2020 New York City Taxi Drivers Calendar below and to get your own copy, head over to the New York City Taxi Drivers online store.