Lin-Manuel Miranda is an artist and performer who can never be accused of wasting a single moment of his time or his public platform. In some ways, it seems like a lifetime ago that the “Hamilton” creator and composer stood on the stage at the 2016 Tony awards, and proclaimed that “love is love is love is love is love is love” more eloquently than seemed humanly possible. Lin-Manuel Miranda was able to prove that he meant those words in 2017 when he and Chef José Andres were among the first notables in action on the ground in the wake of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Both knew that the situation on the island would never be a “one and done,” operation, and both mounted initiatives that are ongoing to this minute.

Chef Andres has been more people in Puerto Rico than the Red Cross, and Lin-Manuel Miranda immediately realized that long-term grants were vital to truly restoring lives. Miranda wears his pride as a Puerto Rican American for all to see, and he has paid forward his gratitude to his parents and the United States in multiple projects, including one for “solarization” which will ensure that Puerto Rico no longer depends on its old and outdated power grid.

It was six months ago that Lin-Manuel Miranda proposed taking a production of “Hamilton” to Puerto Rico, and especially in light of the recent admissions by FEMA of the government agency’s underestimation of the scope of the disaster and unpreparedness for the massive need, the timing could not be more perfect. Miranda talked with “Today” anchor Savannah Guthrie on July 22 about the power of this “Hamilton” performance, and the many other projects in the works for the creative force of nature.

An early mission

Lin-Manuel Miranda has always made his productions and performances reflective of his Puerto Rican heritage. His Tony award-winning “in the Heights” was ripped from the Puerto Rican communities of New York, delving into their dreams, struggles, and daily survival. The composer gushed that “from the time we got the first good review in the New York Times,” there were plans to take “Hamilton” to Puerto Rico. That purpose was magnified by the seemingly unending trauma that began to be broadcast throughout the world. “We just doubled-down,” insisted Miranda after that impetus, determined that “not a dime” from the production would go to anything but the needs of real people.

One of those critical needs for people are continuing arts programs, which Lin-Manuel knows are frequently left behind, even in the best-intentioned relief efforts. The arts inspire hope, and hope is essential to recovery. The playwright has joined with other nonprofits to fund the Flamboyan Foundation, which will oversee the grants going to local arts programs throughout Puerto Rico.

Among the first grant recipients are a dance school and a theater company. Programs for youth in the arts will also have priority. The composer has already fronted a musical appeal for funds, and Lin-Manuel described the efforts of his good friend, rapper PJ Sin Suela, who has been providing free concerts across the island, and the success of the Three Kings Day celebration, during which local actors were hired to portray the three kings, and distribute gifts to children. Miranda was moved that so many remarked to him how good it was to have a day of work and bring a smile to a child.

Not the same locks

Lin-Manuel Miranda feels confident that he has the trademark “My Shot” from “Hamilton” on a lock, but what he no longer has are his own long locks of hair that the 36-year-old has when he played the leading role of Alexander Hamilton on Broadway. He is confident that he has “the best wig person in the world” to put together a completely seamless hairstyle that will be imperceptible from the original. He confesses that his recent haircut is just “too short” and too soon to allow time for sufficient revolutionary-war era growth.

The actor and composer can't talk about the outpouring of support from current and original cast members without tearing up. Every Latino cast member, including Anthony Ramos, instantly said “I'm there” in regard to the reduction in Puerto Rico. Miranda still knows that his musical is “a 14-course meal for an actor,” with love, war, an affair, marriage, deep friendship, and a duel all part of the dramatic equation. He remembers his time on stage as Hamilton as being “the most peaceful of my life,” and this performance in the nation of his roots is sure to be the most powerful. Miranda feels that he is a mix of “50% excited and 50% terrified,” but in January, there is no doubt that everything will come together in glorious fashion. The new production will also “tour the States” according to Miranda.

The only thing in short supply for Lin-Manuel Miranda is time. He is working on a book project based on his “good morning” and “good evening” posts on Twitter, and stars in the new adaptation of Mary Poppins, alongside Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep. The project on the horizon that most captures his heart is his directing debut in “Tick Tick Boom,” based on the life of Jonathan Larson. Miranda first saw the production in high school, and can attest that it was “a forecast of my life through my 20s.” Hopefully, storm clouds will steer clear of Puerto Rico for some time to come, and this artist can continue to pour out showers of his artistic brilliance and personal passion “for my people” in Puerto Rico and people everywhere.