A group of prominent cultural personalities have signed an open letter to
The letter -- whose signatories include Marina Abramovic, Cindy Sherman, Anna Deavere Smith and Richard Phillips -- states that families in the Rockaways "are still standing next to their destroyed and ruined houses trying to keep warm without food, water, electricity, heat, or internet."
The letter was published this weekend on a number of websites, including actor James Franco's. Among the other signatories are a host of celebrities -- Madonna,
"As the Rockaways are, at their best, a melting pot between the local community and the creative energies of the city, it is a location where New York is anticipating and creating the images and dreams we all live on."
The Rockaways is located in the southern part of Queens on a peninsula, near JFK International Airport. The group of largely working-class neighborhoods was one of the hardest hit areas by the recent storm.