Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda detailed a newly created, multimillion-dollar fund supporting Puerto Rico’s arts community as the island continues to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. After landing in the U.S. territory, the playwright-actor said Sunday that he hopes the fund will reach $15 million, adding that he will donate all proceeds from Puerto Rico performances of Hamilton in January, The Associated Press reports.
“The goal wasn’t just artistic satisfaction, but how can we leave Puerto Rico a little better than we found it,” said Miranda, who is largely of Puerto Rican descent and frequently visited the Commonwealth as a child and teenager.
Puerto Rico’s cultural and arts programs have been declining throughout an 11-year recession. Hurricane Maria, which hit in September, inflicted over $100 billion of damage.
Miranda announced the first five fund recipients, which include the theater company Y No Habia Luz. Julio Morales, co-director of the seven-member company told the AP that the $180,000 donation will “allow us to breathe … to start dreaming again, to come up with new ideas, to visit more cities.”
Nonprofit organization Flamboyan Foundation will manage the fund. It will award $1 million to both the Theater of the University of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Museum of Art, and $900,000 to an art education program and dance school.
Miranda, who starred in the hit musical during its initial Off-Broadway and Broadway run, is set to reprise his role as Alexander Hamilton during the limited staging in Puerto Rico, set for January 8th through the 27th at the University of Puerto Rico’s Teatro UPR in San Juan.
The playwright has spearheaded numerous fundraising efforts since Hurricane Maria, including the benefit song “Almost Like Praying.”