NCLR’s Delia De La Vara & The Alma Awards

Alma Awards Airs September 21st at 8PM on NBC
The interview that gets behind the scenes with Producer Delia De La Vara


Special interview excerpt from our friends at Herald de Paris
With permission by Herald de Paris Deputy Managing Editor, Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez 


It’s that time of the year again when the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is getting ready for the 2012 NCLR ALMA Awards which airs on Friday, September 21st at 8PM (PT) on NBC. This year, the ALMA Awards will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month as a celebration of the entertainers who have upheld and promoted a socially proactive image of Hispanic culture in today’s media.


Delia De La Vara

The Herald De Paris published an insightful interview with ALMA Awards producer Delia De La Vara that we know our readers will enjoy. Here is a special excerpt:


Herald De Paris:  How and when did you get the responsibility to produce the show?


Delia De La Vara:  I have been working on the ALMA Awards since 2002, but it wasn’t until we re-launched the show in 2006 that I started working in the capacity as a producer on the show.


HDP: What does an award show producer do?

DDLV: I’ve learned, sometimes the hard way, that a producer could do a wide variety of things… creative development of the show, fundraising, logistics, writing, and more. My role as a producer involves fundraising and managing the expenses; reviewing contracts; ensuring the show has an entertaining, yet respectful of Latino feel; making sure the show highlights the many ways Latinos are a part of and contribute to American culture; sharing with our viewers how NCLR and our community leaders strengthen our country through the programs and advocacy work we do; and ensuring our viewers and live audience have a great experience celebrating the ALMA Awards with us.


HPD: Tell us about this year’s program and the various partners involved in making it happen.

DDLV: We have several key partners who help us present the show, and we’re grateful to each of them for their support and partnership.

This is our second year with our broadcast partner NBCU. But the partnership is broader than NBC [because] it includes Comcast, mun2, and

The NBCU/Comcast family see the ALMA Awards as a show that can cross the English, bilingual, and Spanish-language platforms and they are fully engaged.


Pepsi, our presenting sponsor, is also returning and is fully committed to helping promote the show. In various markets, you’ll be seeing promotions and in-store displays they have developed to help us promote the show, as well as collaboration on our promotional efforts. Pepsi will host the ALMA Awards Fan Zone and, in demonstration of their support of our community efforts, they will present the PepsiCo Adelante ALMA Award to a community leader from the NCLR affiliate network.

This year we are also working with Dick Clark Productions to produce the show. Their knowledge and experience are sure to bring a dynamic and energetic element to the show.

And of course, we have our executive producer/co-host, Eva Longoria, [who] has been a key partner and friend to NCLR and the ALMA Awards since we re-launched in 2006, and has committed so much of her time and energy to ALMAs success.

HDP: How is the use of new and social media changing the way the program is marketed?

DDLV: A strong element of NCLR’s promotion of the ALMA Awards is to engage our community. As a nonprofit, we don’t have the resources to dedicate to buying ads to promote the show, so we have to be very resourceful. We engage many media partners who help us reach our target audience and negotiate trades with them for ad space. But we also want to really engage our viewers so we’ve offered a variety of promotion contests, incentives, and opportunities to help our fans feel connected to the show – feel a part of the ALMA experience.

This year, we are asking our fans/viewers to vote online for their favorite stars nominated. Each time they vote, they get a chance to win a VIP ALMA Awards Red Carpet experience with travel, limo service, and VIP tickets to the events for the show taping. We are also encouraging our fans to host viewing parties on September 21, 2012 providing sample invitations, posters, and recipes. And, with social media, we are regularly posting trivia questions and updates on what’s happening in Latino Hollywood.

HDP: What is your ultimate goal for the show this year?

DDLV: The ultimate goal is to have a fantastically entertaining show that reaches more viewers than last year and adds a little bit more to our viewers understanding of the Latino community in the U.S. – who we are, what we contribute, and how much we care about our country.

HDP: How will this year be different than last year? Any surprises?

DDLV: Each year is different, and our viewers and guests tell us it gets better each year as well. Last year, we did something different with our partner when they streamed our Pre-Show Awards online at

It’s hard to squeeze all the awards in a one-hour broadcast, so we were thrilled to have this partnership to share the non-televised awards with viewers. This year the show will also be available to Comcast viewers as part of their Hispanic Heritage Month offerings.

We are in a different venue this year: the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and we also have a few stars joining us who haven’t been to the show before.

One thing I know we all talked about at the production table was recognizing the work of Lupe Ontiveros. She was a trailblazer and an important mentor to many Latinos working their way through the film and television industry. It’s a tremendous loss for our community and for the entertainment industry.  Surprises? Well they won’t be surprises if we tell you.

To read the complete interview and learn more about how Delia’s childhood and social service background and work and on her unique and close working relationship with Janet Murgia, click here:

 Delia De La Vara is the Deputy Vice President for the Strategic Communications Group (SCG) of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). She has been with NCLR for seven years, first serving as Director of Affiliate Relations before moving to SCG where she started as Director of Sponsorships. She recently assumed the helm of the group overseeing all aspects of logistics, marketing/ promotions, and fundraising related to NCLR’s major events and meetings including the NCLR Annual Conference , the NCLR Capital Awards, the NCLR ALMA Awards and the NCLR Pre-ALMA Gala.

The telecast will showcase the spirit and accomplishments of some of the most prolific Latinos in the entertainment industry, spanning music, television, and film. NBC will air the initial broadcast; mun2 will present the ALMA Awards Red Carpet special and rebroadcast the show. Telemundo will host the official ALMA Awards website at

Visit the ALMA Awards website at to vote for your favorite stars through September 7, you just may win a VIP Red Carpet experience.

NCLR is the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. For 44 years, NCLR has been promoting the advancement of Latino families in this country, creating opportunities and opening doors. The NCLR ALMA (American Latino Media Arts) Awards presentation is an integral part of that mission: a national prime-time NBC television network entertainment special with a cause—to show how diversity strengthens our country and how inclusion strengthens the American entertainment industry.

The 2012 ALMA Awards is produced by Dick Clark Productions’ executive producers Orly Adelson and Barry Adelman along with Eva Longoria and NCLR CEO and President Janet Murgia.
The event is produced by Delia De La Vara and Leroy V. Martinez.

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Elia Esparza is a leading expert in communications and journalism targeting the burgeoning Hispanic market and has produced and written dozens of articles. President and CEO of Always Evolving PR and a Communications Specialist, Elia, incorporates her 18 years experience in the areas of entertainment and education public relations, and marketing. promotions, market research and translations (Eng/Span).