PUERTO RICO — April 12, 2019 — Oprah has donated $2 million to disaster relief and revitalization efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. According to The Oprah Magazine, the donation will be split evenly between the Hispanic Federation, which is focused on rebuilding, and the Flamboyan Arts Fund, which supports local artists.
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, causing billions of dollars in losses and nearly 3,000 deaths. A year and a half after the storm, the island is still struggling to recover. Celebrities like Oprah and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and starred in the award-winning Broadway hit Hamilton, are leading efforts to help Puerto Rico rebuild, according to The Oprah Magazine.
Earlier this year, Oprah attended a production of Hamilton in Puerto Rico, which brought Miranda back to the stage in his starring role. According to The Oprah Magazine, Miranda hosted the Puerto Rico production run of Hamilton to raise money and awareness for the ongoing aftermath of Hurricane Maria and the lacking government support for recovery.
“I was so moved by Lin-Manuel Miranda’s commitment to bring Hamilton to Puerto Rico and support the community that served him growing up that I wanted to join in the revitalization efforts of an island so rich in culture, beauty, and heritage,” Oprah said in a statement, according to The Oprah Magazine. “The needs of Puerto Rico and our fellow American citizens following the tragic hurricanes are still very real, and the work that has already been done by the Hispanic Federation, Flamboyan Arts Fund and other organizations on and off the island is long from over.”
With the help of Hamilton’s fundraising efforts and donations like Oprah’s, the Flamboyan Arts Fund has raised $14.75 million for artists in Puerto Rico, and the Hispanic Federation has raised $43 million for rebuilding efforts, The Oprah Magazine reported.