Oprah Winfrey donates $2 Million to arts programs and disaster relief in Puerto Rico
“The needs of Puerto Rico and our fellow American citizens following the tragic hurricanes are still very real," she said in a statement.
Oprah Winfrey was so moved by the fact that playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brought Hamilton to Puerto Rico to help rebuild the island after Hurricane Maria that she decided to join the effort.
On Monday, the Hispanic Federation and The Flamboyan Arts Fund announced that the media mogul donated $2 million to help with long-term relief efforts on the island, PEOPLE reports. Each organization will split the funds equally: $1 million will go to long-term support and $1 million will be devoted to the advancement of the arts and culture programs.
“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,” Winfrey said in a statement.
Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017, killing an estimated 3,000 people. The natural disaster destroyed homes and infrastructure, leaving much millions of people drinking water or electricity for months, according to Reuters.
Miranda departed the original Broadway cast of the Tony award-winning musical Hamilton in 2016. But he reprised the role of Alexander Hamilton for 23 performances in Puerto Rico earlier this year. All profits from the those shows went towards The Flamboyan Arts Fund, which raise an estimated $15 million for artists, arts and creative development.
Celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Anthony have also taken action in helping relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, folks on the U.S. mainland continue to support the rebuilding efforts by way of one of the several hundred donation drives coordinated by the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Disaster Relief and Recovery Program.
Some social media users were excited by the news:
.@Oprah has donated 2 million dollars to support the arts in Puerto Rico
She says: “I was so moved by @Lin_Manuel’s commitment to bring HAMILTON to Puerto Rico…that I wanted to join in the revitalization efforts of an island so rich in culture, beauty and heritage…”
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) April 8, 2019
"Today, the Hispanic Federation (HF) and the Flamboyan Arts Fund announced a $2 million commitment from global media leader and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey to aid in the revitalization of Puerto Rico." pic.twitter.com/22xeF592fJ
— Tonya Garcia (@tgarcianyc) April 8, 2019