Log In   ·   Become A Member

Philanthropist Zita Cobb To Speak In Sag Harbor About The Revitalization Of Fogo Island

Olivia Rutigliano

The Fogo Island Inn, designed by architect Todd Saunders. (Photo: Courtesy of Fogo Island Inn)

The extraordinary Zita Cobb will speak at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor on Saturday, June 2 about her critical role in building another economic leg on Fogo Island during an event sponsored by The Sag Harbor Partnership and artist Eric Fischl.

The small island that lies off the coast of the northeastern coast of Newfoundland, Canada was home to Cobb who grew up with no plumbing or electricity. She eventually left the island, became a powerhouse pioneer in fiber optics, made a fortune and then retired back home to Fogo Island. At the time of her return, the economy had severely declined as a result of the collapse of the cod fishing industry and was in such despair that the government had considered moving residents to other parts of Canada.

Cobb spearheaded an initiative to access the global economy through film, art, and the talents of Fogo residents. One result was the Fogo Island Inn, an architectural wonder and a social business that graciously gives all surpluses to Shorefast, a charity that Cobb founded with her brothers Tony and Alan Cobb. The charity then reinvests funds back into the community via other charitable programs such as Fogo Island Arts and Geology at the Edge as well as continually expanding other initiatives.

Fischl will interview Cobb after the talk. "I was lucky enough to hear her speak last year," he explained. "She brilliantly shows how a community can reinvent itself, something Sag Harbor has done many times in its own history since the 1800s. She's also an example of how one philanthropic person working deeply within a community can have tremendous impact."

April Gornik, Fischl's wife and Vice President of the Sag Harbor Partnership, adds, "Zita provides a paradigm of what a community interacting with its place in the world could be."

Cobb plans to show the remarkable landscape, people and architecture of Fogo and discuss her economic philosophy, placing a heavy emphasis on the sustainability, social business, and the vitality that film and art can bring to a community.

"Shorefast and Fogo Island Inn continue to believe that art and film have key roles in telling our stories and preserving traditional knowledge and culture," Cobb explained.

The event is free, but reservations are necessary. The conversation will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Pierson High School is located at 200 Jermain Avenue in Sag Harbor. For more information and to reserve tickets, visit sagharborpartnership.org.

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a firetruck?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

Hamilton Hoge
As the owner’s representative our practice encompasses all aspects of a project from pre-purchase property due diligence, program development iterations, advisement on systems, analyze contracts/vendors, critical path analysis, feasibility and schedule. The strength of our approach is in facilitating organized communication. We strongly analyze all representations and warranties for the protection and benefit of our client.