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How ‘Hamilton’ Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda Is Helping Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria

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Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton, is changing lives across Puerto Rico. The territory has struggled to recover from Hurricane Maria, but Miranda hopes to bring aid in the form of a three-week charity run of Hamilton in January of 2019. All proceeds will go to the Flamboyan Arts Fund, supporting local arts in Puerto Rico.

Irma’s Devastating Blow

When Maria struck in 2017, Puerto Rico was already in the midst of a recession and over $74 billion in debt. The Category 4 storm ripped power, water, and cellular service from the majority of the island, which didn’t return to over 80% of residents for more than a month. Hurricane Maria is considered to be the worst natural disaster Puerto Rico has ever endured.

An estimated $90 billion in damage on top of their present debt sent Puerto Rico over the edge. Even with federal aid, local governments had to dip into their pockets, leaving very few resources for non-essential building and reconstruction.

Miranda Announces Lifesaving Flamboyan Fund

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s family is originally from Puerto Rico, which has motivated him to lead several fundraising efforts. He released a benefit single, “Almost Like Praying,” and teamed up with Google to raise money for Puerto Rican small businesses. This new fund, however, is about more than rebuilding infrastructure. “The goal wasn’t just artistic satisfaction, but how can we leave Puerto Rico a little better than we found it,” Miranda says.

Miranda has supported Puerto Rico not only in fundraising efforts but in public rallying and promoting government support:

“In the nine months since Hurricane Maria, people all over the world have opened their piggy banks and opened their hearts to help. Across the country, many have made their voices heard, demanding action from Congress. It has meant so much. Progress has been made, but there is still work to be done.”

Flamboyan Fund in Action

The Flamboyan Foundation will manage the fund and has already chosen its first recipients. Y No Había Luz, a theater company, will receive $180,000; the Theater of the University of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Museum of Art will receive $1 million; two arts education programs will receive $900,000 each.

The goal is to help these organizations not only reconstruct buildings, but to repair the dreams discouraged and the hope lost for thousands of people across Puerto Rico.

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