Tuesday October 16th, 2018 9:00PM

Lin-Manuel: Puerto Rican efforts making up for slow start

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Lin-Manuel Miranda's next project is far away from Broadway, in a 35-mile-long stage. The artist is focused in helping Puerto Rico recover from the devastation Hurricane Maria has left.

"Our next project is getting a sense of normalcy back to our island," he said more than a month after Maria hit hard. "Everything has kind of taken a back seat to that."

The creator of "Hamilton" has been doing all he can to help the devastated land of his ancestor and will be honored this Thursday for his efforts at the Latin Grammys.

Miranda will receive the Latin Recording Academy President's Merit Award for his "outstanding and numerous contributions to the Latin community," including his all-star song "Almost Like Praying." The ceremony will be aired live on Univision from Las Vegas.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Miranda expressed his faith in the American people after seeing the country come together in the face of natural tragedy, despite what he has said was a slow response from the US government.

"Honestly I think we are still making up for the slowness of the initial response," he said. "That was the moment to put down a maximum effort, maximum troops, maximum everything, and it's happened. My hat goes off to every single member of FEMA, every troop on the ground, every member of the Puerto Rican National Guard that's working so hard there. But we're working at a deficit from the initial response and we still are."

Two weeks after the storm he released "Almost Like Praying," a song featuring Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Camila Cabello, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, John Leguizamo and Rita Moreno, among many others. All proceeds from downloads and streaming go to The Hispanic Federation's disaster relief fund.

"Everyone worked from a place of love," said Miranda of the song, which he calls "a love letter" to the island and its 78 towns, all mentioned in the lyrics. Miranda also hopes to raise the spirit of the island by bringing "Hamilton" to the University of Puerto Rico — and him in the starring role — in early 2019.

The composer, lyricist, playwright and actor lamented that after more than one month there are still many people with no water or electricity. More than 140,000 Puerto Ricans have left the island since the September 20 hurricane.

"This would be so unacceptable in any city in the mainland of the United States. It's crazy that this is still where we are a month after the hurricane with so much of the island — not a very big island! Thirty-five miles top to bottom — still without basic resources," said Miranda.

But in trying to "be the silver lining," he says he rather focus on the positive, like the $14 million the Hispanic Federation raised in 24 days through the Unidos Disaster Relief & Recovery Program.

"And that's not big corporations, that's over 100,000 donations and really small increments," he noted. "It is a glimpse of generosity of everyday people — it's kids taking their piggy banks, it's local productions of 'In The Heights' raising money after the show," Miranda said, referring to one of his earlier stage hits. "I really have more hope than ever in us as people and the way our hearts extend out in times of tragedy."


Sigal Ratner-Arias can be followed at

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, APOnline Celebrity News
© Copyright 2018
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Lin-Manuel: Puerto Rican efforts making up for slow start
Lin-Manuel Miranda saluted all the federal workers hard at work in Puerto Rico and says the rebuilding of the island is going well, despite what he considers a slow initial response.
1:38PM ( 3 minutes ago )
McConnell, Roy Moore each insist the other should quit
The top Republican in the Senate says GOP candidate Roy Moore should quit the Alabama race
1:38PM ( 3 minutes ago )
The Latest: Alabama governor says Dec. 12 election on track
Alabama Republican Roy Moore says it's Mitch McConnell who should quit, not him
1:14PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump choosing white men as judges, highest rate in decades
An AP analysis finds President Donald Trump is nominating white men to America's federal courts at a rate not seen in nearly 30 years
12:52PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Is your own MD best in the hospital? Study eyes hospitalists
Study suggest old-fashioned family doctor style of medicine could be lifesaving for elderly hospital patients
12:45PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Trump names former drug exec as new health secretary
President Donald Trump picks former top drug company and government executive to be his next health secretary
12:34PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
The Latest: McConnell says Roy Moore should step aside
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama "should step aside" in light of allegations he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl decades ago
11:56AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Earthquake on Iran-Iraq border kills over 400
A powerful earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran border region has killed over 400 people, mainly in Iran
11:20AM ( 2 hours ago )
Washington Democrats show caution in Moore Senate race
One of the Senate's most moderate Democrats is helping Republican Roy Moore's Democratic challenger raise campaign funds
10:06AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Taylor Swift's 'Ready for It': Singer announces stadium tour
Taylor Swift is going to bring her new album to life when she hits the road next year
1:00PM ( 41 minutes ago )
UK Scrabble group bans star player for breaking tile rule
The Association of British Scrabble players has banned one of its star players from competition for three years after an independent investigation concluded he had broken the rules of the popular word game
12:09PM ( 1 hour ago )
Italy museums see record numbers of visitors, revenue
Italian museums are on track for another record-setting year in 2017 in terms of visitors and revenues, with the outdoor Colosseum in Rome and Pompeii near Naples topping the Culture Ministry's most-visited and most-lucrative list
11:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
Shawn Mendes, Eminem among winners at MTV EMAs in London
Shawn Mendes has beaten Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran to be named best artist at the MTV EMAs, while U2 were named global icons in a show that celebrated London culture, from pubs to pirate radio
6:49PM ( 18 hours ago )
Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran vie for best artist at MTV EMAs
Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran are among contenders for best artist at the MTV EMAs, where Irish rockers U2 are set to be named global icons
8:00AM ( 1 day ago )
Asian leaders deliver pageantry-plus to woo Trump
Asian leaders deliver pageantry-plus to woo Trump
2:35PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Hundreds in Hollywood march against sexual harassment
Harvey Weinstein accuser Lauren Sivan and Oscar-winning producer Cathy Schulman are among the hundreds of women, men and children who gathered in the heart of Hollywood Sunday afternoon for a pair of dual marches protesting sexual harassment
3:18AM ( 10 hours ago )
Liz Smith, syndicated gossip columnist, dies at 94
Gossip columnist Liz Smith, whose mixture of banter, barbs, and bon mots about the glitterati helped her climb the A-list as high as many of the celebrities she covered, has died
8:20PM ( 17 hours ago )
Schwarzenegger calls on climate activists to change methods
Movie star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wants environmental activists to give more attention to immediate health hazards like air and water pollution
11:58AM ( 1 day ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
McConnell, Roy Moore each insist the other should quit
The top Republican in the Senate says GOP candidate Roy Moore should quit the Alabama race
1:38PM ( 3 minutes ago )
The Latest: Alabama governor says Dec. 12 election on track
Alabama Republican Roy Moore says it's Mitch McConnell who should quit, not him
1:14PM ( 28 minutes ago )
US soccer starts youth movement after World Cup flop
The U.S. turned toward youth after its World Cup flop, and Josh Sargent, Weston McKennie, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tyler Adams and Jesse Gonzalez could get debuts in Tuesday's exhibition against Portugal
1:08PM ( 34 minutes ago )
The Latest: Roy Moore argues Senate leader should step down
Alabama Republican Roy Moore says it's Mitch McConnell who should quit, not him
1:04PM ( 37 minutes ago )
UConn still No. 1 as top four of women's hoops poll same
The UConn Huskies continue their run at No. 1 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll
1:04PM ( 38 minutes ago )