Since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017, CERF+ has helped more than 60 artists in Puerto Rico and provided over $300,000 in emergency financial relief assistance and donated equipment and materials. This project will provide much-needed additional emergency relief grants of $3,000 and Get Ready grants of $500 to help artists safeguard their studios, protect their careers, and prepare for emergencies.
Unfortunately, the artists of Puerto Rico were not immune to the devastating losses in the wake of Hurricane Maria. As an already vulnerable population due to low and episodic incomes, artists were especially hard hit. With 73% of our beneficiaries reporting that they received no other financial assistance, CERF+ remains committed to providing long-term financial emergency relief assistance as well as access to our Get Ready grants which will help them build stronger and more resilient careers.
CERF+'s emergency relief assistance provides direct and timely assistance to artists so that they can recover from career-threatening emergencies and get back to work as soon as possible. Just as important, our Get Ready grants support artists' efforts to be more prepared with career protection and safety measures such as purchasing and installing air filtration systems, building hurricane resistant and safer dry storage, and upgrading drainage systems.
The arts and culture are essential to recovery in Puerto Rico and artists are the island's greatest asset. If artists can recover and thrive, the island will continue to transform. CERF+'s recovery work in Puerto Rico has been our largest disaster effort in our 34-year history. Unlike many emergency funders, CERF+ commits to disaster recovery in communities over the long term -- long after the "hot dishes" stopped coming.