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How Hamilton, The Tonight Show, and the arts are helping Puerto Rico bring in tourists

The apps, books, movies, music, TV shows, and art are inspiring our some of the most creative people in business this month,Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of Hamilton say goodbye to the audience at the end of the performance during the closing night of Hamilton By Melissa Locker 6 minute.In January of this year, Lin-Manuel Miranda returned to Puerto Rico, where his parents grew up, and brought the entire stage production of Hamilton with him.
The idea was to use the Broadway smashas a fundraiser to help the island and its struggling arts scene to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. To sweeten the deal, Miranda would return to the role he created, playing Alexander Hamilton for a three-week-long fundraiser in San Juan.The ploy worked: Hamilton fans jumped at the chance to see Miranda reprise the role and were willing to fork over up to $5,000 for tickets.It was all to help Puerto Ricos arts community, which had very little funding even before the hurricane.
In fact, Miranda was planning on doing the fundraiser even before the hurricane struck.The Mirandas wanted to invest in a key, key, key fundamental piece of the island, which is its arts and culture, says Kristin Ehrgood, the CEO and board chair of the Flamboyan Foundation, which worked with the Miranda family to launch the Flamboyan Arts Fund.Flamboyan Arts is a limited-term fund created to funnel Hamilton proceeds to support institutions, arts groups, and independent artists in Puerto Rico, particularly helping them rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Early beneficiaries of the arts fund include, among others, thePuerto Rico Art Museum, puppet theater companyY No Habia Luz, and Andanza, a dance troupe.Recipients of the funds grants are selected by a board, which the Miranda family sits on.While some people may scoff that the arts are a poor investment, the arts can play an important role in building hope, restoring the heart and soul of the islands inhabitants, and, as it turns out, dramatically stimulating the economy.
Since day one, our administration has focused on promoting the growth of Puerto Ricos economy and identified tourism as one of the segments with the most potential for development, Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossell Nevares told Fast Company. Thats why one of his first acts as governor was to set up Puerto Ricos destination marketing organization, Discover Puerto Rico, which is tasked with drawing visitors to the Caribbean island.While the governments priorities shifted a bit in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, as the island works to rebuild, tourism, particularly arts-fueled tourism, is playing a significant role. For proof that it works, look to the fact that Hamilton helped raise $14 million forthe arts fund, and brought visitors to the island who stayed at hotels, ate local food, and otherwise helped bring money to the island.
This is much, much bigger than the production onstage for three weeks, says Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico. We view this as a launching pad for the repositioning of the brand of Puerto Rico as a destination for the arts.We believe that the real strength of Puerto Rico as a tourism destination is in the rich vibrant culture.It was Discover Puerto Rico that told Marriottwhich owns several hotels across the islandthat Hamilton with Miranda at the helm was coming to the island.
We knew we wanted to get involved, said Diana Plazas, a Marriott International marketing executive for the Caribbean and Latin America. We wanted to make sure we were doing our part to support the island, doing our part to support the recovery, but also the community of the island.In addition to being a corporate sponsor, Marriott also provided hotel rooms for the shows cast and crew.Marriott hotels has guaranteed a minimum donation of $300,000 to the arts fund.To help them meet that donation goal, Marriott donated $1 for every room booked at some of its properties. Its not alone in wanting to be involved in Hamiltonsvisit to the island and the goodwill it invoked.
Other corporate sponsors like JetBlue, Banco Popular, Churchs Chicken, Airbnb, and Warner Bros. all donated funds of more than $200,000 to the Arts Fund.More work to be doneIts not just the money, though. While bringing Hamilton to Puerto Rico certainly raised plenty of that, it also drew attention the islands ongoing struggles.People are going to come to Puerto Rico because ofHamilton, and hopefully spend a lot of money here,Miranda toldthe New YorkTimesin an interview. But theyre also going to see blue tarps and theyre also going to see how much work there is to be done.Every show has felt like opening night, Donald Webber Jr. who played Aaron Burr during the Hamilton run in Puerto Rico, told Fast Company.A lot of it has to do with Lin being here, being back in this place where he spent just about every summer.Even though this crazy unbelievable thing happened that destroyed his town, he, just like the Puerto Rican people, persevered.He didnt let the hurricane define him. He came out stronger and better.
It is unbelievable to watch every night, seeing Lin actively fighting back those emotions to perform.Gracias, Puerto Rico.Siempre recordaremos esta experiencia.January 28, 2019 Open for business Mirandas bold decision to uproot his entire Broadway show and take it to the island already inspired other performers to follow suitspecifically, Jimmy Fallon, who was inspired by Miranda to bring The Tonight Show to the island to help boost tourism, and let viewers know about other ways to help in the rebuilding process.I gotta say, we had Lin-Manuel Miranda announce he was taking (Hamilton) to Puerto Rico, Fallon told NBC News. I was just inspired because thats so hard to do.I dont think people understand how hard it is to take a Broadway show outside of Broadway. They went to Puerto Rico in January to tape an episode and, of course, see Hamilton.
The resulting episode was a celebration of Puerto Rico, complete with Fallon and musicians Questlove and Bad Bunny leading a carnival parade through the streets of Old San Juan, chef Jose Andres taking Fallon on a tour of beachside food kiosks in Piones, and musicians Jose Feliciano and Ozuna singing En Mi Viejo San Juan at La Fortaleza.Its a love song about a Puerto Rican who has left the island but dreams about going home, explains Jennifer Long, a consulting producer for this episode of The Tonight Show, who grew up in San Juan.There is no song more special to Puerto Ricans and no song more appropriate for this moment in time.While the episode was fun to watch, it carried with it a very important message: Puerto Rico is open for business.
Without a doubt, the best thing we could hope forand I know this is so important to Jimmyis go visit! Puerto Rico is up and running for business and they want your business and, quite frankly, they need it.That echoes what Manuel Laboy, secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce for Puerto Rico,told Fast Company a year ago:You want to help Puerto Rico? Go on vacation there.It remains true.While Hamilton has ended its run, the island has an ongoing rich cultural scene, spurred on by the influx of cash to the grantees of the Flamboyan Arts Fund.
Puerto Rico has the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean and has unique cultural offerings such as museums, year-round cultural festivals, theater opportunities, musical concerts, and historic zones that appeal to all types of visitors, Governor Rossellsaid. We want the world to know that Puerto Rico is Open for Business, that as we recover and rebuild, our island stands as the most exciting place in the United States for people to come visit.(Disclosure: This story was reported in part from Puerto Rico; the writers travel and hotel costs were reimbursed by Marriott.)About the authorMelissa Locker is a writer and world renowned fish telepathist.

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Wagner’s five-wicket barrage counters Tamim’s ton

HAMILTON (AFP) – Neil Wagner finished with a five-wicket haul as New Zealand ripped through the Bangladesh tail to counter Tamim Iqbal’s virtuoso century on day one of the first Test in Hamilton on Thursday.
Despite Tamim’s heroic 126, New Zealand claimed the first-day honours when they reached stumps at 86 without loss in reply to Bangladesh’s 234.
Tamim, Bangladesh’s most prolific scorer, laid the foundations for a potentially huge total when he laid into the bowling after being sent in to bat on a typically green-tinged New Zealand wicket.He cracked 21 fours and a six as he feasted on fruitless New Zealand efforts, led by strike bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult, to find the edge of his bat.
But there was minimal support, and after Tamim had steered Bangladesh to 180 for four, his dismissal triggered a collapse where the last six wickets fell for 54 runs.Liton Das, the last man out, had the second highest score of 29.
New Zealand had an anxious moment at the start of their reply when Ebadat Hossain, on debut, saw his third ball in Test cricket fly from Tom Latham’s bat direct to second slip, but Soumya Sarkar spilled the straightforward chance.From there Latham and Jeet Raval knuckled down to bat unruffled through to stumps with Raval on 51, his eighth half-century, and Latham on 35.

In a productive morning session, Bangladesh went to lunch at 122 for two with Tamim contributing 86, including 15 fours, as he showed that despite the green hue the wicket held no dangers.Wagner in that period took one for 13 off six overs, while Southee had none for 40 off six.One session later and Bangladesh went to tea at 187 for seven with Wagner’s figures improving to three for 29 while Southee was still being caned at one for 71.The pair cleaned up the last three wickets immediately after tea with Wagner taking five for 47 with his relentless short-ball barrage, while Southee had three for 76.Colin de Grandhomme only took one wicket but it was the key dismissal of Tamim who clipped a wide delivery to Kane Williamson at gully.It made up for de Grandhomme’s earlier error when he dropped a regulation caught and bowled opportunity from Tamim on 65.

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Astle wants to focus on Test cricket

HAMILTON: Todd Astle doesn’t want to talk about the World Cup, but a call-up to the Test side against Bangladesh is a suggestion that a coveted place is within his grasp.If he is picked in the XI in Hamilton, it will only be his fourth Test in more than six years, and the veteran leg-spinner only wants to focus on the longer format for now.Astle said that as a team, too, New Zealand only have the Test series in mind, especially having made great strides recently, including moving to No. 2 in the Test rankings for the first time.I am more excited than anything. It has been a long time between my Test performances.I played one in 2012, one in 2016 and then another one in 2018. For me, it is nice to be back and get regular opportunity.I have played for a number of years for Canterbury so now hopefully I can kick on and play more international cricket, Astle said.I think we are focused on the first day of the first Test, and then on to the three-match series.We have obviously gone up to No. 2 in the Test rankings.
It is great for us. It is a testament to our group and how well we have played over the last couple of years.Astle, who will be competing with Ish Sodhi for a World Cup spot if he is on the selectors’ radar, has been preferred ahead of left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel for the Bangladesh Tests.He played in the third ODI against Bangladesh, taking 2 for 52, before appearing for Canterbury last week in the Plunkett Shield, where he picked four wickets in his side’s win.He also played in two ODIs against India in January where he took just one wicket.I think the selectors have different requirements.It is great to have such depth in the spin department. I know that Bangladesh will see spin as something they can exploit.They are good players of spin so it is a good challenge for me to see where I am. To restrict them, take wickets, and hopefully allow us to do well, he said.Astle said that a spinner must be patient when bowling behind a strong pace attack. Having taken 320 wickets in 113 first-class games, he wants to use the Test series to establish himself at the highest level.I have been around the (first-class) block for a while. It is time to step up and play more international cricket in the Test arena, he said.Our fast bowlers have been so good in our own conditions. For me, it is to do the best I can whatever the situation I face.

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‘Anybody can beat anybody’: Test upsets keep Black Caps wary

HAMILTON (AFP) – New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said Wednesday recent Test upsets mean “anybody can beat anybody” and the world number two ranked side can have no room for complacency against minnows Bangladesh.
The Black Caps made history this week when they were elevated to second in the ICC Test team rankings for the first time following South Africa’s shock 2-0 defeat at home to Sri Lanka, the only time an Asian team has won a series in South Africa.It came hot on the heels of the eighth-ranked West Indies also enjoying a stunning result at home by winning a Test series against England for the first time since 2009.Sri Lanka over in South Africa was a fantastic effort, said Williamson when naming his team for the opening match of a three-match Test series against Bangladesh which begins in Hamilton on Thursday.
It’s so hard to beat a side like South Africa anywhere, let alone in their backyard, but anybody can beat anybody.Ninth-ranked Bangladesh, who have enjoyed home Test wins against England and Australia in recent years, say Sri Lanka’s victory in South Africa stands as a beacon for them.What Sri Lanka did was remarkable, said Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes.When the boys look at those results it definitely will be an inspiration for them and I will use it in the team talk.
If we play anything like we can do, we will surprise the New Zealanders.New Zealand dominated Sri Lanka before Christmas, leaving Williamson to suggest it was best to shut the rankings out of the conversation.It’s all about winning the series, as in every series that is sort of the goal you take into it, he said.As we’ve seen, the rankings are sometimes in your control and sometimes outside your control so it’s a very difficult thing to focus on.We know if we are playing good cricket day in and day out then perhaps those things will lean your way.New Zealand have made one change from the side that played their last Test, a victory over Sri Lanka two months ago by 423 runs, with Todd Astle coming in for Ajaz Patel.The Seddon Park wicket is usually regarded as a good batting strip but Williamson said it looks a little different this year and he was undecided on what he would do should he win the toss.

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Fighting in the Trenches of This Culture War

Fighting in the Trenches of This Culture War, Our authors generally oppose cultural and moral relativism, and for that reason they are generally February 21, 2019 Howard Rotberg For over 15 years, I have been operating a small publishing house, which is Canada’s sole conservative and pro-Israel publishing house.
We publish some of the greatest Canadian, American and international authors who support fundamental freedoms, liberty, justice and individual rights as opposed to group rights. Our authors generally oppose cultural and moral relativism, and for that reason they are generally shunned by leftist publishing houses who naively believe that all cultures are equal.
I am the son of a Holocaust survivor who lost his parents and then eight-year-old sister in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. When someone tells me that all cultures are equal, I ask if the person believes that the culture of Nazi Germany or of ISIS is equal to the culture of Canada or the United States.The person usually walks away at that point. Recently, as part of my publishing duties and the need to see if there are any upcoming opportunities for our authors to speak, I came across an event near Toronto called the Festival of Literary Diversity.Looking at the photographs of the 20 or so authors speaking or appearing, I could see that almost all were brown or black and they were mostly women. Mantua Books also publishes brown women (Farzana Hassan, The Case Against Jihad), brown men (Professor Salim Mansur, Delectable Lie: a liberal repudiation of multiculturalism and Islamism and the Qur’an Problem), as well as white Jewish women, aged Christian men, gay Jewish men, all what we might term “conservative” thinkers, but who are actually “classically liberal” as much as conservative.
So, I decided to write to the Festival organizers to see if their definition of “marginalized diverse authors” could include our authors, most with Ph.Ds, who are shunned by mainstream leftist publishing houses despite their qualifications to write in their chosen fields on politics and culture.It occurred to me that readers might like to peer into the trench, where I, a 6 7-year-old, former practicing lawyer, a developer of affordable rental housing for low income working people (which I insist gives me “progressive” credibility) am fighting in this war every week. Of course, we are losing most every battle we fight.It is hard when academia, the mainstream media, and NGOs and government bureaucrats are all lined up against you. But I fight on; if my father could survive Auschwitz, I figure I can survive this.So what follows is my correspondence with a Festival organizer, to give you some insight into one small, polite skirmish in a much larger War. From Howard Rotberg to A.L.: Re: Festival of Literary Diversity, in Brampton We are a small publisher, based in Brantford/Hamilton, in business for over 15 years, publishing great authors, most with Ph.Ds, most of whom have been shunned by mainstream, leftist-oriented publishing houses, because of the authors conservative (or classically liberal) political beliefs. We have white and brown authors, Christian, Muslim and Jewish authors, who write about ideologies and values in contemporary political culture.Our authors are experts in their field, and are professors, journalists and others living in Canada or around the world. Please refer to our website, www.mantuabooks.com.Our writers are usually opposed to cultural and moral relativism and political correctness that inhibits freedom of expression or that caters to group rights as opposed to individual human rights and maintenance of our liberal democratic justice system. We are opposed to naïve advocacy of multiculturalism based on the mistaken belief that all cultures are equal.
We believe that cultures that oppress women, gays/lesbians, children, ethnic and religious minorities are not equal to those that uphold the rights of same. Despite the quality of our writers, we are routinely marginalized by mainstream media who often refuse to review our authors’ works because, notwithstanding our great conservative tradition in Canada, these media feel that they want to publish or write about left-leaning authors not conservative ones, and so we are shunned and marginalized.We think that a Festival of Literary Diversity should embrace a diversity of all books as long as they meet the requisite standards of intellectual discussion and our Canadian traditional values of liberty, justice and “peace, order and good government. Let us know if you want the publisher or some of the authors to participate in a festival of diversity that is in fact diverse,From A.L.to Howard Rotberg: Thank you for this. I appreciate and understand where you are coming from.We also do not support the views of people and movements who disenfranchise marginalized groups, but we cannot approach this from a perspective of viewing other cultures as inferior to Western democracies, regardless of whether we agree with their practices or not. As such, we celebrate the rights, complexities and humanity inherent in all cultures, understand that growth comes from meeting one another on common ground, and seek to elevate discussions where cross-cultural dialogues are respectful, mindful, and encourage us all to learn.
Many thanks, and all the best to you in your continued work. From Howard Rotberg to A.L.: Thank you for your polite and considered response.
I simply want to point out to you that I work with marginalized authors who are marginalized by leftist media. Words like “diverse” or “marginalized” are highly politicized terms useful for attaining power or reducing power of those with whom one disagrees with politically.The fact that you cannot bring yourself to state the obvious – that some cultures like that of Nazi Germany or of ISIS – are culturally inferior, tells me, the son of a Holocaust survivor, that the effect of your sincere efforts is to dignify cultures that abuse women and gays and religious minorities; surely you would be hard-pressed to make the argument, say, to Yezedi women, victims of the evil culture of Syria which includes a culture of rape. I disagree that there is “humanity” in all cultures.Nazi Germany and ISIS are the opposites of humanity. Finally, it sounds nice to say that we should be “respectful” in all discussions.But, in my book, The Ideological Path to Submission and what we can do about it, I point out that “the Oxford Dictionary defines “respect” as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements.” But to me, Islamists who use beheading, rape and sexual assault, torture, persecution of ethnic and religious minorities and gays, and disregard most human rights, do not deserve our “deep admiration” and do not show any great “qualities or achievements.” We must be clear on this. “I am really confused about the notion of ‘meeting on common ground.’ If there were such a viable concept/place as ‘common ground,’ then can it be defined? If not, then where in the rich spectrum of values and ideas is there a common platform for our minds to meet? Why should there be a common ‘safe place’ when people disagree about significant basic ideas which are diametrically opposed to western values which have made modern western civilization the best place on earth to be living?” I would recommend that you read Professor Salim Mansur’s Delectable Lie: a liberal repudiation of multiculturalism, Diane Weber Bederman’s Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values, and my own, The Ideological Path to Submission. and what we can do about it.About Howard Rotberg Howard Rotberg is a Canadian writer, businessman and publisher. He is the author of The Second Catastrophe: A Novel about a Book and its Author, TOLERism: The Ideology Revealed, and Exploring Vancouverism: The Political Culture of Canada’s Lotus Land.He is President of Mantua Books.Read MoreView the discussion thread.

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