$250,000 Emergency Grant Awarded for Hurricane Fiona Relief in Puerto Rico
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS awarded a $250,000 emergency grant on September 28, 2022, to immediately assist the people of Puerto Rico, who continue to be plagued by island-wide power outages, water shortages and other catastrophes caused by Hurricane Fiona earlier in the month.
Broadway Cares is making the emergency grant to the Hispanic Federation on behalf of the entire Broadway community – those onstage, backstage and in the audience – to support on-the-ground efforts providing essential supplies and services to communities most affected by the storm.
“We are proud, on behalf of Broadway and the extended theater community, to quickly take action in ways that not only supplement the loss of resources in Puerto Rico, but provide some solace to our community members here in New York that help is on the way,” said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 18, 2022, with some areas receiving more than 30 inches of rain. The flooding brought on by the hurricane struck a power grid already weakened after Hurricane Maria and a series of earthquakes in 2019. Much of the island is still without power and key agricultural crops will take months to recuperate, making for a long road to recovery.
The $250,000 emergency grant to the Hispanic Federation will provide community organizations working in the most-affected neighborhoods with relief equipment and first aid supplies to respond to the most-urgent needs. The Hispanic Federation has invested more than $50 million in Puerto Rico’s recovery and sustained long-term initiatives to advance many of its civic sectors, including education, health care, renewable energy, arts and culture, agriculture and disaster preparedness.
The emergency grant was made possible by the successful fundraising at the 2022 Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, which brought together theater lovers in a tangible representation of the community’s support for others.
“I am always enthused to be a part of the fundraising efforts at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and seeing that participation translate into immediate assistance for Puerto Rico reminds me of the necessity of that work,” said artist and activist Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose family is from Puerto Rico and deeply tied to the island. “The two storms remind us that Puerto Rico is in a state of increasing vulnerability. Solving its energy crisis, the effects of climate change and continued migration off the island are essential priorities for both the citizens of this island and the nation of which it is a part.”
Earlier in 2022, Broadway Cares also awarded, in the name of the theater community, $300,000 in special grants for Planned Parenthood Federation of America and NARAL Pro-Choice America to help ensure access to critical reproductive health care after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and $300,000 in emergency grants to three organizations providing immediate help for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion. In all, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS awarded $17.1 million in grants in 2022.