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Culture

‘Hamilton’ Fundraiser Set for Hispanic Federation, Flamboyan

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will bring his award-winning musical back to Puerto Rico for two weeks of performances in June, including a fundraiser for the Hispanic Federation and education nonprofit, the Flamboyan Foundation.

The return engagement is Miranda’s way of showcasing what philanthropy has accomplished in rebuilding Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017, as well as what remains to be done.

“I am so proud of the work that both Hispanic Federation and the Flamboyan Arts Fund have done for the Puerto Rican community through their support and funding of grassroots efforts,” Miranda said in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday. “By providing support to activists, artists and community groups on the ground, they have changed the ecosystem for the arts and the nonprofit sector.”

As part of the June 16 fundraiser, Miranda will reunite with “Hamilton” original Broadway cast members Renee Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson and Leslie Odom Jr., for their first public appearance together since 2017. Though they will not perform in the show, the quartet of “Hamilton” stars will watch the new cast and mingle with guests at receptions before and after the show. Tickets for the fundraiser go on sale Monday through the Hispanic Federation.

Organizers hope to raise at least $2 million to support work in Puerto Rico, through the fundraiser and other donations, for the Hispanic Federation and the Flamboyan Arts Fund, which is a partnership between the Flamboyan Foundation, Miranda, his family, and “Hamilton.”

Hispanic Federation CEO Frankie Miranda – no relation to Lin-Manuel Miranda – said the “Hamilton” fundraiser provides another chance for nonprofits working in Puerto Rico to show why donors still need to support the island’s rebuilding efforts.

“Investing in Puerto Rico is a premise of hope and progress,” Frankie Miranda said. “So much is being accomplished. But then the attention goes away or only comes back when there is another natural disaster.”

Frankie Miranda said the Hispanic Federation was ready in September to lead the world’s media around some of its successes in Puerto Rico for the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria, when Hurricane Fiona struck the island.

The Hispanic Federation has invested more than $50 million in the past five years for emergency assistance and rebuilding efforts that include renewable energy and otherwise environmentally sustainable initiatives.

The federation’s investments into Puerto Rico’s coffee industry led to collaborations with 140 organizations that have helped more than 2,500 businesses in the past three years.

Carlos Rodriguez Silvestre, Flamboyan Foundation’s executive director, said the money raised by the “Hamilton” event will continue its work to preserve and support education and the arts on the island.

The Flamboyan Arts Fund has provided more than $10 million to over 100 arts organizations and 600 individual artists.

“We want people to start thinking about Puerto Rico — not only for its beaches and sand, but about the cultural offerings that it has,” Silvestre said.

That has been easier to do, in recent years, with the success of Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, who broke records in 2022 with his Grammy-winning album “Un Verano Sin Ti.” Bad Bunny became the first artist who does not primarily record in English to be named artist of the year by music trade magazine Billboard. He was also Spotify’s most-streamed artist of the year for the third year in a row.

Silvestre said Bad Bunny’s success is just part of why Puerto Rico needs to focus on the arts.

“You have to see it as an economic driver for the island,” he said.

Frankie Miranda said the success of Bad Bunny, as well as Jennifer Lopez co-headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show and Ricky Martin’s long-running career, show that Puerto Rico has an artistic history that needs to be preserved and nurtured.

He said that Lin-Manuel Miranda made that a priority in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

“Of course, food, water, electricity, medical care is really, really important.” organizers recall Lin-Manuel Miranda telling them. “But as we move into long-term needs, we really need to focus on the arts. This is my lane.”

 

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