By Christine Sampson
The Sag Harbor Partnership on Wednesday revealed the identity of the previously anonymous “angel” donor whose $1 million pledge kicked off the fundraising for the new Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, and the name is a familiar one around these parts: Eric Fischl.
The internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor said in an interview this week the donation came from money he received from the sale of Fair Oaks, the 26-acre subdivision behind his North Haven property, to the Town of Southampton through the Community Preservation Fund earlier this year.
“My vision is to try to preserve things so that it slows down development and has less impact on the environment,” Mr. Fischl said. “I was fortunate enough to buy the property behind the house and sell it, and with that money I’ve continued the idea of preservation. I’ve been strategizing ways of using the money to its utmost effect. The cinema is one of those things.”
Sag Harbor Partnership president Nick Gazzolo said in a statement Mr. Fischl’s donation is particularly meaningful because “an artist is leading the way.”
“Eric’s generous pledge has been absolutely critical to this campaign,” Mr. Gazzolo said. “His was the first, and is still the biggest donation. He’s given us the time and space we needed to bring others on board. Great cultural destinations, museums, theaters and film centers don’t happen by accident. They happen when leaders say…
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