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A home wrecked by Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP.

Warhol and Rauschenberg Foundations Help Puerto Rico’s Art Community in Aftermath of Hurricane Maria

Alex Greenberger of Artnews writes that the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts are working with playwright and Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda—who is serving as a representative of the Hispanic Federation Relief Effort—by giving a $300,000 grant to El Serrucho: Hurricane Maria Emergency Fund, an organization overseen by Beta-Local, a cultural nonprofit that helps artists and arts institutions throughout the US. It will take the funds to create a new batch of artist grants to help those affected by the storm. Beta-Local’s codirector, Sofía Gallisá Muriente, said, “This is a defining moment for our country and our cultural scene, and we want to do all we can to foster its continued development because we know cultural agents will be invaluable in this recovery process.” In a recent interview with artforum.com, Gallisá Muriente stressed how such a devastating event requires “international solidarity” for a successful recovery: “In a place with deep preexisting economic challenges, a diverse and vibrant cultural scene persisted thanks to people’s solidarity and generosity and without any major institutional support or market viability. Hurricane Maria is a serious threat to our intellectual and artistic production, and will inevitably be a turning point in our history.”

Kathy Halbreich, the new executive director of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, underlined Gallisá Muriente’s sentiments by saying: “When something unsettles our field as urgently as Hurricane Maria did to the thriving artists’ community in Puerto Rico, prompt and collaborative action can make a real difference to people’s sense of immediate security as well as their ability to imagine a productive future.”

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