Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors
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The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) is an active arts service and advocacy organization founded in 1975. It is in the United States and dedicated to Hispanic artists, actors and actresses.
HOLA's Directory of Talent was created in 1981 and was the first directory to feature solely Latino talent. Currently, the online HOLA Talent Directory is the internet’s only concentrated pool of Latino acting talent.
The Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) is the United States’ longest running, active 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 Latino artists. HOLA strives for an accurate, informed and non-stereotyped portrayal of the full spectrum of Latino culture and heritage in all entertainment and media industries.
Previous and current HOLA members include Fortuna Calvo-Roth, Carlos Carrasco (at one time the Executive Director), Míriam Colón, Liza Colón-Zayas, Delilah Cotto, Raúl Dávila (at one time its President), Caridad de la Luz, Robin de Jesús, Idalis DeLeón, Emilio Delgado, Moisés Kaufman, Ana Margarita Martínez-Casado, Jorge Merced, Olga Merediz, Ilka Tanya Payán, Antonia Rey, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jaime Sánchez, Roselyn Sánchez, Jimmy Smits, Miguel Ángel Suárez, Judy Torres and David Zayas.
HOLA was founded in 1975 by a group of Hispanic actors (including founding president Ilka Tanya Payán and founding members Elizabeth Peña and Raúl Juliá) concerned with the images of Latinos in the media. The organization still functions as the nation’s leading advocacy group in the entertainment industry for actors working on stage, on television and in film. In one well-documented case in the 1990s, HOLA successfully collaborated with Actors’ Equity Association to shine a light on questionable casting practices being employed at the time on Broadway. The show in question then was the Ariel Dorfman play Death and the Maiden. Since that time the number of Latinos on Broadway has increased steadily over the years. HOLA was originally located in the west 40s in Manhattan. It later moved to the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center in the West Side of Manhattan in the shadow of Lincoln Center. Since 2001, HOLA has been located in the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center in the Loisaida section of Manhattan.
HOLA works within the entertainment industry to ensure that the Hispanic community has equal access to jobs while also functioning as a safe haven where Hispanic performers, writers and directors can share ideas, concerns and thoughts about the industry. Today, HOLA continues to provide essential services to professional actors. 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 for industry professionals seeking Latino acting talent.
Early in its history, the organization instituted an excellence in artistic achievement awards program (then called the H.O.L.A. Awards) that were held in the 1970s before being suspended. The HOLA Awards were held once again in 1999 and are currently held yearly.
Directory of Talent
The HOLA Directory of Talent was created in 1981 and was the first directory to feature solely Latino talent. Currently, the online HOLA Talent Directory is the internet’s only concentrated pool of Latino acting talent.
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, HOLApanels and HOLA After the Curtain series).