In December 2018, the Royal Talens Foundation donated a pallet full of drawing and painting materials to the residents of St. Martin to be distributed to arts and cultural centers across the island. The materials are to be used to replace destroyed materials and for creative projects that aim to reduce the stress these residents have been exposed to since the hurricane Irma devastated the island in September 2017. With this initiative, the Royal Talens Foundation supports the plan ‘Kunst & Cultuur Estafette Sint Maarten’, a collaboration between various organizations in Saint Martin as well as the Antillian Aruban Foundation from Apeldoorn and art gallery De Aventurijn in Epe.
On 6 September 2017, Irma raged over the island, killing and injuring dozens of people and destroying 90% of all the houses and buildings. The National Institute of Arts in Philipsburg believe that art can help to deal with the traumas that the hurricane cause with the residents. ‘For many children, the hurricane made a deep impact and this is great way for children to give voice to their fear, insecurity, and helpless they may have felt when confronted by such a powerful storm like IRMA’