It's been 8 months since Hurricane Maria, a category 5 storm, devastated Puerto Rico and thousands of artists and artisans are STILL struggling to recover
. Many artists are living in makeshift homes without a roof and their studios and equipment were severely damaged or completely destroyed. In the wake of this catastrophe, markets to sell their handmade work have closed and customers have disappeared, leaving them without any source of income. For some artists, CERF+ has been their only source of emergency assistance.
We have been providing funds to artists who have had emergencies for 33 years. We have already provided $232,100 in aid to 51 artists in Puerto Rico
and, due to the enormous need on the island, our Disaster Relief Fund is almost gone. On a recent trip
to the island, during which there were two widespread blackouts
, we learned firsthand that there are many more who still need our help
.We need YOU to help us meet our goal of raising $75,000 for CERF+’s Disaster Relief Fund
. 100% of monies raised will go directly to disaster-affected artists in Puerto Rico working in craft disciplines. Approved applicants receive a check within 7 days and use funds to purchase desperately needed construction materials, new equipment and supplies, groceries, gas, rent, utilities, and medical treatment.Here's what your donation provides for an artist:Together we can help artists in Puerto Rico rebuild their businesses and their lives.
"Words can not explain the gratitude we feel right now. Your help has been a tremendous example of solidarity to people in need.
We will never forget it."
-Lemuel Maldonado, Woodworker, PR
In this video, taken in April, our volunteer walks us through CERF+ grantees Oscar and Omar Figueroa's hurricane damaged home.
Edwin Báez just received a grant to help him rebuild his studio. His architectural works made of wood, below, depict scenes from Puerto Rican culture and life.
"Puerto Rico’s new reality can be now described as before and after María.
This hurricane crossed our island and destroyed everything in its path. Artisans are among those who have been more affected. As Director of the Popular Arts and Handcrafts Program of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, learning about CERF+ grants for folk and traditional artisans that had suffered a natural disaster was great news."
-Jessabet Vivas Capó, Institute of Puerto Rican Culture
CERF+ has partnered with the following organizations to provide disaster relief assistance to artists in Puerto Rico:
-Foundation for Puerto Rico
-Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP)
-Museum and Center for Humanities Studies, University of Turabo
-Ponce Museum of Art
-Zulma Santiago Consultants Inc
-PRIDCO (Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company)
is a 501(c)(3) public charity
. CERF+ is the leading national nonprofit solely dedicated to helping artists prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and today we need your help so that together we can help artists in Puerto Rico. Thank you, and please share this campaign with your friends.
Offline donations can be mailed to CERF+ at 535 Stone Cutters Way, Ste 202, Montpelier, VT 05602.