The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation are teaming up with theater impresario Lin-Manuel Miranda to donate $300,000 to Puerto Rico relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The gift, announced on Tuesday, will aide arts and cultural workers who are struggling in the aftermath of the devastating storm, which rendered an estimated 3.4 million people without power and all but destroyed the island’s energy grid. (As of press time, Maria had claimed at least 48 lives, and more than 80 percent of the power grid is still not functioning.)
For the three-part gift, each of the foundation partners donated $100,000 to El Serrucho: Hurricane Maria Emergency Fund, created by San Juan-based organization Beta-Local, a nonprofit organization that has redirected its efforts toward emergency relief since the category four hurricane made landfall two weeks ago. Miranda’s $100,000 portion was made through the Hispanic Federation Relief Effort, which has also coordinated donation and relief efforts in the area.
The Hamilton creator has been vocal in the weeks after the storm, criticizing President Trump’s response to the crisis and making personal pleas for families, like his own, who have lost their homes and belongings on the island.
Miranda has also rallied other celebrities to contribute their talents to the relief effort. On October 6, he released a charity single, “Almost Like Praying,” featuring an all-star cast of Latin singers, including Jennifer Lopez, Fat Joe, Gloria Estefan, and Marc Anthony. Miranda spent summers as a child in Puerto Rico and told the New York Times he wanted to capture “the spirit of the island” in his lyrical tribute.
Beta-Local’s Emergency Fund will be dispersed in two waves of relief. The first round of funding will ensure that cultural workers can continue their relief efforts across Puerto Rico, to help rebuild communities and other projects that have begun. The second wave will create grants that will be awarded to local artists to resume practices to enhance the island’s art community.
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