The cool fall breeze and the beautiful view to the statue of liberty was the perfect atmosphere for this years HOLA (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) Awards Gala. The celebration took place at the breath taking Battery Gardens in the southern most tip of the Manhattan Island. The event drew luminaires from all points of the USA, all there to support and award the hard work of our colleagues within the various artistic industries.

The red carpet shone bright by the numerous stars that graced the event with their presence. Liza Colón-Zayas arrived in style and in good company, her husband and former Dexter star; David Zayas. In this edition of the awards Liza received the OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEATURED FEMALE ACTOR Award in recognition for her work in Water By The Spoonful (Second Stage Theatre). Among the attendees were also representatives from Delta Airlines, HBO Latino and various theater companies that reside within our city. But distance did not keep away HOLA members from the west coast such as Kiki Meléndez, who is also in town to promote and present an advance screening of the mockumentary (or “docu-comedy” as it is billed) The Journey of a Female Comic/Trayectoria de una comediante. Starring, co-written and co-directed by Kiki Meléndez.

The ceremony hosted by Rafael Bello, a sportscaster for “Noticiero Telemundo Nueva York Fin de Semana and Odalys Molina, a general assignment reporter for WNJU Telemundo 47 and co-host of the entertainment show “Acceso Total, was a great success. The night’s special honorees were broadway, film and TV actor Bobby Cannavale, who received the ”José Ferrer Tespis Award. Nadine Velázquez, TV actress who is most well known for playing Catalina Aruca in NBC’s “My Name is Earl”,received the Excellence in Television Award. The recipient of the Excellence in Multimedia Award was Vanessa Verduga, the creator-writer-star of the webseries “Justice Woman”. Both Cannavale and Verduga were present to accept their awards but due to schedule conflicts Velazquez sent a video message thanking HOLA.

We would also like to thank HOLA for their hospitality, especially to Mr. Manolo García Oliva for honoring us by extending an invitation to such respected and acclaimed event to the latino talent in the US. To Mr. A.B. Lugo for all of his time and attention to our every question and request. This is definitely an event not to miss in the future. Not only for the great job the organization does recognizing the sometimes overlooked talent but also for their efforts as a non-profit. You can read the full list of honorees and look at images from the event here in the website. To find out more information about HOLA or to become a member, please visit their website at www.hellohola.org

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