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Oprah Winfrey will donate $2 million to Puerto Rico to help with rebuilding efforts and revitalize cultural programs that have been stymied since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017.
Winfrey was inspired to make the donation after seeing the award-winning composer, lyricist and actor "Lin-Manuel Miranda’s commitment to bring ‘Hamilton’ to Puerto Rico and support the community that served him growing up," according to a statement from the Hispanic Federation.
The nonprofit organization, which focuses on supporting Hispanic communities through local, state and national advocacy efforts, said Monday that $1 million would go to the Hispanic Federation’s UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program to Support Puerto Rico fund — which helps the organization develop and implement programs to deal with the island's long-term needs.
The other $1 million of Winfrey's donation will go to the Flamboyan Arts Fund, a grant program created by Miranda and his family to help artists and arts institutions in Puerto Rico promote arts on the island.
Winfrey's contribution adds to the estimated $15 million Miranda was able to raise for the Flamboyan Arts Fund after reprising his leading role during a 23-performance run of the hit musical "Hamilton," which he created in 2015, in Puerto Rico in January.
"I wanted to join in the revitalization efforts of an island so rich in culture, beauty and heritage,” Winfrey said. “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.”
Hurricane Maria, which struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, killed at least 2,975 people and left around $90 billion in damages — making it the third-costliest hurricane on record in the United States.