Monday, June 3, 2013

Peoria All America City video 2013

While I appreciate the effort, I'm not impressed with the All-America City 2013 video for Peoria. In fact, I don't think it shows Peoria as a unique community. I think the historical value of Peoria is completely disregarded.

According to the All America City Award website of the National Civic League, the focus is supposed to be changing a community in a positive way.


Once described by pollster George Gallup as a “Nobel Prize” for civic accomplishment, the awards have been given to more than 600 communities since its inception in 1949. Some have won it as many as five and six times. Not just cities, but neighborhoods, towns, counties and metropolitan regions can apply for the prestigious award.

To qualify for AAC, participants fill out applications listing three examples of successful community change. Applicants are enocuraged to use the National Civic League’s “Civic Index,” a widely used tool for assessing community strengths and weaknesses. In their applications, they describe their capacities for civic engagement, collaboration; inclusiveness and innovation.


A Rod Stewart song "Forever Young" with several groups of people marching toward the camera, and the same people are shown repeatedly? It seems more appropriate for a commercial about people who quit cigarettes and are now marching in freedom from addiction.

Why not use a Dan Fogelberg song? That would be the real Peoria.

Why not show Preston Jackson and his new Richard Pryor statue?

Video begins with "Peoria, IL. Founded in 1680" -- but there is no photo or drawing of old Peoria. No historical artifacts, buildings, or scenes are shown. A quick sequence of the evolution of Peoria, from Henri de Tonti days to now, would have fit the theme of "Forever Young."

Not much of Peoria is shown in this video. Any sites that are shown are obscured by close-ups of people marching toward the camera. This video is not "Peoria", you could put any city's name on this video.

People are important, but this video looks generic. A city is its landmarks, colleges, industry, family-owned restaurants, third generation retail shops, historic buildings, scenic views, unique monuments -- not just some marching people lip-synching a Rod Stewart song.

Only long time Peoria residents will be able to recognize what businesses and facilities are being shown, because the camera focuses on the people walking down a corridor or a sidewalk near the facility. A focus on the name of the facility, the sign on the building itself, then sweeping over to some people, might have been a better approach.

I would have liked to also see: Peoria Public Library North Branch, Castle Patio Inn, Naturally Yours Grocery, Relics, Re-, Cyds, Lariat Steakhouse, the Shoppes at Grand Prairie, the Hoffbrau, etc.

At least Platteville, Wisconsin has "we have a lot of manure" as a claim to fame for the 2013 award.

People marching and clapping seems to be a common theme in All America City competition videos. "We love our city. Vote for us." is a pretty unimaginative theme though. Lower Naugatuck Valley.

Yet another marching video for the All America City competition. Fayetteville, NC (2011).

Granite City, IL won All America City award in 1959.

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