By: Barbara S F Davis
HoLa Hora Latina commandeers Market Square on Saturday, September 27 and Sunday, September 28, 2014 for the 15th Annual HoLa Festival. Admission is free.
This event is a great introduction to the richness of Hispanic culture. A wide array of vendors will happily sell you food, drink, clothing, art, and music from Hispanic cultures. As many as 20,000 people attended in previous years.
At noon on Saturday, September 27, festival headliner Orquesta de Jaime Bonilla, from Puerto Rico, will perform at the WDVX Blue Plate Special located in the Knoxville Visitor Center at 301 S. Gay Street, at the intersection with Summitt Hill Drive.
“We’ll open our big event with a dance at 7:00 pm on Saturday the 27th with the Orquesta de Jaime Bonilla. La Rueda Salsa dancers of Nashville will perform at intermission,” said Irene Hernández, coordinator of the HoLa Festival.
Hernández continued, “The full-blown fest begins Sunday the 28th at 11:30. Heritage tables will represent as many as 15 Latin American countries. Food and craft vendors will have authentic edibles and art for sale.
“There will be a Parade of Nations, sometimes with three generations of one family, carrying the flag of their country. The Asheville Tango Orchestra, Jerry Portilla, and Trote Norteño will perform throughout the day. There will be the full-color Baile Foklórico dancers, as well as Tango Knoxville,” said Hernández.
Click here for the full schedule.
HoLa Festival volunteers are still needed. If you are interested, contact Rebecca Gomez at firstname.lastname@example.org. ABC approved beverage servers are also needed at the festival.
While September is National Hispanic Heritage Month, HoLa Hora Latina provides access to Hispanic arts and culture everyday through its office Casa HoLa in the Emporium Center at 100 S. Gay Street in downtown Knoxville.
President Angela Masini says, “Exhibits rotate monthly. We do First Fridays and keep the Gallery open five days a week, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.”
HoLa Hora Latina, a non-profit, was awarded a Humanities Tennessee grant for an exhibit held at Casa HoLa in March of 2014. It was our “Bittersweet Harvest” exhibit, a collection of posters created by the Smithsonian Institute, depicting the struggle of migrant workers,” says Masini.
Manager Hannah Flake says, “Our motto is unity in the community, so we introduce Hispanic artists and those who explore the culture to East Tennessee artists and art lovers.”
Celebrated folk artist Héctor Saldívar‘s fantastical creatures were displayed this past June. His Alebrijes (all-lay-bree-hays) are brightly colored, counter-intuitive combinations formed in Papier Mâché.
The artist for July was Californian Stephen R. Hicks. His driftwood art was also featured at the gallery a year ago. The short video of his display is a super introduction to the Emporium and the Casa HoLa gallery.
HoLa’s August First Friday was a retrospective of past HoLa Festival Posters.
Angela Masini says, “We wanted Casa HoLa to be a place like the name implies, where people feel comfortable visiting at all times, not just at exhibits. Now that Hannah Flake, Case HoLa’s new manager, is there every afternoon during the week, we want people to know they can stop on First Friday and all through the month. This is a brand new development, and we want people to be excited about it. Members can rent the gallery for events, too.”
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© Barbara S F Davis, 2014.