The oldest Latino non-profit organization in East Tennessee, HoLa Hora Latina has been a beacon of pride for Latino artists, while also serving to educate the wider public about Latino culture. Since its founding in 1992, this pioneering arts nonprofit has emerged as a premier arts organization in the State, fulfilling their mission of promoting unity in the community through art, culture, and communication bridge building between the Latino and greater Knoxville communities.
HoLa Hora accomplishes its mission through a myriad of effective arts and culture programs in which they present artists to audiences, exhibit art, and educate youth. They are most known for their impressive HoLa Festival, which brings over 25,000 attendees to Knoxville’s downtown each year. This vibrant celebration features folk music, dances, traditional foods, the Parade of Nations, history and culture exhibits, and an international bazaar of crafts and demonstrations.
In addition to the festival, the organization’s home in the historic Emporium building in the heart of Knoxville’s Arts District is a center where Latin art, photography, paintings, and ceramics have been exhibited. Through a monthly exhibit which features up-and-coming artists of all backgrounds, this space has become a cultural hub for connecting artists with the broader community. Beloved by locals and tourists alike, the Casa HoLa Tienda helps local artists promote and sell their artwork to the public.
HoLa Hora also leads through robust community partnerships, including the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Knoxville Museum of Art, and the City of Knoxville. In collaboration with UT’s Hispanic Studies program, HoLa Hora programs Spanish Immersion Day. HoLa Hora also offers an internship program to students majoring in Language and World Business, providing students with the valuable experience of working for a community nonprofit. HoLa Hora has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the prestigious Seed Learning grant award from the Central Appalachian Assembly and the Community History award from the East Tennessee Historical Society.
HoLa Hora’s various programs are individually strong and impactful. Viewed together, however, this cornucopia of projects and programs form a tapestry of unparalleled Latino arts leadership in East Tennessee. Through this array of grassroots programming, the diversity of different cultures is showcased, leading to better understanding and appreciation. HoLa Hora has not only cultivated the vibrant arts landscape of downtown Knoxville but also brought awareness of the rich, local arts community in Tennessee and connected communities through the arts.