Newport Festivals Foundation and Hurray For the Riff Raff have partnered to provide $20,000 worth of musical instruments to rural public schools still recovering from hurricane Maria.
Thank you to all our fans who came out to support this partnership at the KEEN booth at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island this summer or by purchasing a pair of Newport Revival sandals from the KEEN Garage or website. With the $150,000 we hope to raise through this program, Newport Festivals Foundation will be able to reach thousands of students over the next year. We can’t wait to get more of their updates from the road as they continue these “revival” efforts.
“Our last set of donations went to four programs in a town called Humacao. It’s right near where the hurricane made landfall. Lots of rebuilding going on. The first place we went, a public school focusing on music and the arts, is still rebuilding their school, so we met them at a local community auditorium. The student performances were the best of the trip, beautiful guitar ensembles and a very cool traditional drumming program called Bomba – a drum and dance style originating from the African slave culture in Puerto Rico. It was great to support this school with a variety of instruments since they are still so deep in recovery mode,” wrote Christopher Capotosto, Newport Festivals Foundation marketing & creative director.
“After that we drove up the mountain to an incredibly beautiful park overlooking the town with the coastline behind it. Here we donated to three afterschool music programs that use this community space. We met with a local musician, Luis Rodríguez Sánchez, who runs the park. He told us about their experience during the hurricane, and that much of the structures and their community stage were completely destroyed. He told us how they converted this community music center into a soup kitchen—feeding the whole town from here since they had the only large working kitchen in the area. This place really became the shelter of the region where people would gather to eat and play music while the recovery efforts slowly made their way down the southeastern coast to Humacao.”
“Groups of children performed Christmas songs for us, and a band (comprised of members as young as 10 and as old as 70) played a variety of traditional songs. It was really an emotional exchange and a great way to cap off our time in Puerto Rico.”
To learn how you can support Newport Festivals Foundation’s mission to foster the legacy and expand the impact of our Festivals through music education initiatives, click here.
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