About Us

HoLa Hora Latina started in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1992 and is the oldest grassroots Latino non-profit organization in East Tennessee. Chartered in 2003, it is now a 501(c)(3) charity. The mission of HoLa Hora Latina is to promote unity in the community by creating art, cultural and communication bridges between the greater Knoxville and Latino communities and by encouraging education, participation and leadership.

HoLa Hora Latina has contributed to the cultural life in the Knoxville area through its various cultural and educational programs. We are mainly known for the annual Hispanic Heritage Month which is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 and for the annual HoLa Festival. The last one being the most celebrated among the many celebrations during this month. The HoLa Festival is known to be attended by more than 25,000 festival goers kicking off with a Saturday night Salsa Fiesta and leading to a Sunday filled with food, music, dance, cultural events, a Parade of Nations and endless activities promoting the culture of all Hispanic countries and their influences in the United States.

HoLa Hora Latina has its home at Casa HoLa which is located in the 100 block of S. Gay Street at the Historical Emporium Building in the heart of Knoxville’s Art District. This is the home for most of our cultural and educational programs which are offered throughout the year. Casa HoLa has become a center where Latin art, photography, paintings, ceramic arts and popular art have coexisted within the Hispanic and the Community at large. Monthly movies and discussions promote a cultural interexchange which is not only fun but stimulating.

HoLa Hora Latina is composed of paid intern students and many volunteers who are devote their knowledge of art and culture towards excellence in the organization. In 2002, HoLa Hora Latina was an important aspect for the inauguration of the Civil War Trail Marker which marks the birthplace of Admiral Farragut in Knox County in honor of his Hispanic heritage.

HoLa se inició en Knoxville, TN en 1992 y es una organización Latina sin fines de lucro y la más antigua en el este de Tennessee. Constituida en 2003, es ahora una (c) (3) caridad 501. Su misión es promover la unidad en la comunidad mediante la creación de puentes de arte, cultura y la comunicación entre la comunidad latina y la comunidad en general, y mediante el fomento de la educación, la participación y el liderazgo.

HoLa ha contribuido a la vida cultural de la zona de Knoxville a través de sus programas educativos y culturales variados. Somos posiblemente más conocidos por la celebración anual del Mes de la Herencia Hispana, que se celebra del 15 de septiembre hasta el 15 de octubre y por el Festival HoLa, el más destacado este mes con largas celebraciones.

Desde 2010, con la apertura de Casa HoLa en el edificio Emporium, en el corazón del distrito de arte de Knoxville, hemos ofrecido programas culturales y educativos durante todo el año. Casa HoLa se ha convertido en un centro de arte latino, donde las fotografías, pinturas, cerámica y arte popular han coexistido para el disfrute de los hispanos y no hispanos por igual. Películas mensuales, y las discusiones que siguen proveen un intercambio cultural divertido y estimulante.

Actualmente contamos con un miembro del personal asalariado, y muchos voluntarios dedicados. En 2012 HoLa fue fundamental para la inauguración de Civil War Trail Marker donde marca el nacimiento del Almirante Farragut en el condado de Knox, en honor a su herencia hispana.

Hola Hora Latina Board of Directors 2021

Pedro Tomás - President

Cuban born and educated in New York, is a Professor of Spanish at the University of Tennessee and at Maryville College. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in both disciplines of Spanish Literature and Theatre and a Master’s Degree in Hispanic-American Literature. He is currently representative on the UT Faculty Senate. Pedro came from a theatrical background and his experiences include performances at Opryland USA, the Clarence Brown Theatre and many years as Dance Partner-Director and Choreographer for the Louise Mandrell Show. Pedro takes pride in being chief organizer for HoLa Festival 2016 and upcoming 2017.

Roger Roark - Treasurer

Tennessee born Roger Roark is a current Senior Manager for WonderWorks, a major entertainment attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN. He has worked for this company for 10 years and was previously the Dinner Theatre Manager for WonderWorks’ Hoot N’ Holler Dinner Show in charge of all servers and food and beverage. He worked for the Louise Mandrell show for 13 years as the Costume Supervisor and used this same title at Opryland USA Music Theme Park for 14 years. Roger served as the Soft Beverage and Beverage Tickets Chair for the HoLa Festival 2015 and will return as Chair of all Beverage and Tickets for the HoLa Festival 2016.

Terra Clotfelter Gómez - Secretary

a native of East Texas and long-time resident of East Tennessee, has been an HoLa board member since 2014. She received her B. A. in Hispanic Studies and Portuguese from The University of Tennessee and later graduated from Lincoln Memorial University’s M. B. A. program. She recently left her full-time career in international business in the manufacturing industry to devote more time to her family and to take on a part-time role in her family’s small business. She currently serves on the boards of the Latino Alumni Council and the Young Alumni Council at The University of Tennessee and is also a volunteer with Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee. She lives in Blount County with her husband, daughter and three dogs.

Rose Mar

A transplant to Knoxville from Northern California. She grew up in Healdsburg, California the eldest of four children of immigrant Mexican parents. Rosa retired in 2012 after a 27-year career with Levi Strauss & Co where she held various executive management positons the last being the Global Sourcing Manager. She was transferred from San Francisco to Knoxville with Levi in 1996 and was transferred back to San Francisco in 2001. Along with serving on the Urban League board for which she is the treasurer, also serves on the Facilitation Committee for Leadership Knoxville, she serves on the board of WDVX a non-profit radio station, is on the board for HoLa Hora Latina Cultural Organization, and on the board of Knox Heritage. In 2014 came out of retirement for a short period serving as the CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of East Tennessee which she held through January, 2016. She is a 1994 graduate of Leadership San Francisco, 2001 graduate of Leadership Knoxville, a 2001 winner of the Levi Mentor Award, a 2013 YWCA Tribute to Women Finalist, and a graduate of the East Tennessee Regional Leadership Association Class of 2014. The role she cherishes most is that of mother and she is proudest of her attorney daughter Marisa who resides in San Francisco.

Maria Clark PhD

Associate Professor of Spanish at Carson-Newman University teaching language, culture and literature courses. Her research specialization is Latin American film. She has served on the HoLa Board of Directors for several years and was active as organizer and presenter of the Cine HoLa series. She currently chairs the HoLa Scholarship committee. Dr. Clark hails from Germany and has lived in Knoxville, TN since 1976.

Enrique Cruz

Having lived in Knoxville for many years working in the food service and hospitality industries, Enrique is the newest addition to our Board and organized the 2019 HoLa Festival’s food vendors with great success. He currently works with Rosa’s catering as an events and social media manager. He continue his work with the HoLa Festival’s food vendors in 2021.

Nathalie Hristov

Associate Professor and Music Librarian at the University of Tennessee. She is also a cellist and enjoys traveling to destinations with great art, music, food, and drink.

Rossy Toledo

A Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Tennessee’s Department of World Languages and Cultures, Rossy Toledo currently serves as the Art Comittee Chair at the Casa HoLa Gallery and Artisan Shop. She is your main for exhibitions and the Astrid Galindo Student Arts Scholarship. She is a published author and poet. She has published two poetry collections “Pregonero despertar de voces” and “Azules sueños naranjas.” She and her sister, Gabrille are both artists whose works have
been displayed at Casa HoLa.

We want to pay special tribute to those who have served as President of HoLa Hora Latina.

Those dedicated individuals, who have contributed so much to the growth and development of HoLa Hora Latina include:

  • Angela Masini
  • Coral Getino
  • Carlos Bermúdez
  • Veronica Douglas
  • Lysette Avilés
  • Loida Velázquez
  • Silvia Calzadilla
  • Elena McKinney