HOLA was founded in 1975 by Rubén Rabasa, Eduardo Corbe, Andy Nóbregas, Doris Castillano, Denia Brache, Ilka Tanya Payan, Antonieta Maximo, Larry Ramos, Miriam Cruz, and other 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, 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. 

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.

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