HOLA is an arts service and advocacy organization dedicated to expanding the presence of Hispanic artists in entertainment and media through the cultivation, education and recognition of emerging artists.
HOLA, founded in 1975 by a group of Hispanic actors concerned with the images of Latinos in the media, now functions as a leading advocacy group in the industry for such actors working on stage, on television and in films. In one well-documented case in the 1990s, for instance, HOLA successfully collaborated with Actors Equity Association to shine a light on questionable casting practices being employed at the time on Broadway and Off-Broadway. The show in question then was “Death and the Maiden.” Since that time the number of Latinos on Broadway has increased steadily over the years.
And while HOLA strives to work within the industry to insure that the Hispanic community has equal access to jobs, it also functions as a safe haven where Hispanic performers, writers and directors can share ideas, concerns and thoughts about the industry. Early in its history, the organization instituted an excellence in artistic achievement awards program (HOLA Awards). By supporting the New York Latino theater circuit, HOLA was able to establish itself as a viable not-for-profit arts service organization.
Soon thereafter, The HOLA Directory of Talent was created. Other programs included a professional training unit of workshops and seminars (HOLAfábrica), an in-house casting referral service (HOLAgram), and a series of special events (HOLAtalks and HOLApanels). Today, HOLA continues to provide essential services to professional actors. In addition to our website (www.hellohola.org), our online presence extends to Facebook (www.facebook.com/HOLAonFB) and our blog, titled EL BLOG DE HOLA (elblogdehola.blogspot.com). While show business has changed through the years, HOLA’s mission has remained the same. By expanding job opportunities for Hispanic actors, HOLA strengthens and supports the available talent pool. And, ultimately, HOLA strives for an accurate, informed and non-stereotyped portrayal of Hispanic culture, people and heritage in theatre, film, television, radio and commercials. Previous and current HOLA members include Carlos Carrasco (at one time the Executive Director), Miriam Colón, Delilah Cotto, Robin de Jesús, Emilio Delgado, Moisés Kaufman, Olga Merediz, Antonia Rey, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jaime Sánchez, Roselyn Sánchez, Jimmy Smits, Suárez and David Zayas.
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HOLA programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts;
The City of New York, Department of Cultural Affairs; NBC-Telemundo 47; Univision; private donations
and dues-paying members of HOLA.