The holdings of the Foundation (in English, the National Foundation for Popular Culture), located in a building in Old San Juan, suffered water damage in Hurricane Maria — particularly, a cache of records by singers of the “nueva canción” movement. The administrators are working to remove mold from some of the albums. At the same time, they’ve launched a campaign to fund digitizing the collection to save it from future harm.
“The Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular suffered significant losses,” reads a text on a youcaring.com page where the public can make donations to the private foundation founded by journalist Javier Santiago, who oversees the collection and donated the building it is in housed in. “Due to the great crisis around the island, aid for cultural organizations are scarce. Currently the organization does not have any financial support from private or governmental institutions, that is why we are appealing to the help of our friends and followers around the world to continue the work of saving our Puerto Rican popular culture.”
The campaign will count on proceeds from a new salsa song and video, “Después de la Tempestad” (“After the Storm”) recorded by a quickly united collective of musicians including Moncho Rivera, Pedro Brull and Lefty Pérez, and headed by singer and arranger Nino Segarra and trumpet player Luis González, which was launched at a press conference at the Foundation. The musicians traveled together in a rented bus to Segarra’s studio in Sabana Grande to record the single in time for the holidays.
Santiago also announced that the Foundation will give back to the community by offering a series of holiday concerts.