The anonymous angel donor that gave $1 million to the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center has been revealed as artist Eric Fischl. He is now speaking out about the project and the importance of arts and culture in Sag Harbor.
Eric Fischl is an American painter who grew up on Long Island but moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he would study art. He and his wife, painter April Gornik, live in Sag Harbor.
Other big-name supporters include Billy Joel, Martin Scorsese, Harvey Weinstein, and Andy Cohen.
Fischl commented, “The arts have been a part of Sag Harbor since its earliest days, and unlike the other Hamptons, it has always been a maker of things valuable to an economy greater than its small borders. From building ships, weaving rope, making silverware and watchcases, building torpedoes for the war effort, and ultimately building components for our mission to the moon, Sag Harbor makes stuff—important stuff. The character of its inhabitants reflects this quality. They are resourceful and they are flexible. As one industry fades, they adapt to new ones.”
The historic cinema was burned in a fire that ripped through Main Street in December, but is being restored and turned into a local arts center by a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Sag Harbor Partnership. The new Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center will do year-round outreach and programming, focusing on cinema tradition.
At this time, about $3.5 million has been pledged to the restoration project. The partnership’s fundraising campaign needs to raise $6 million in donations and pledges by July 1 in order to ensure the project. The total cost of restoration is an estimated $8 million.
If the goal is not reached, all donors will receive a refund and pledges will be canceled.
- Sag Harbor Cinema update: $2M pledged to rebuild, Billy Joel shows support [Curbed Hamptons]
- In Sag Harbor, a Beloved Cultural Oasis Is Lost [New York Times]
- Sag Harbor cinema to be restored and made into local arts center [Curbed Hamptons]