The National Civic League is offering communities a new opportunity this year. We are holding our first “All-America Stories” competition. This multimedia award is separate from the annual All-America City Award, but its purpose is the same—to spread the word about your stories of positive community change.

Who is eligible?

Anyone and everyone. We want AAC finalists and winners (past and present) to enter, but also people from other communities as well. So even if your community has not participated in the All-America City Award program, we encourage you to enter the contest if you have a good story to tell.

What do we mean by multimedia?

For the purposes of this contest, we are talking about a video or a photo essay or slideshow. These multimedia presentations (video or photographic) should tell your story of positive community change. We give you a free hand to use the power of multimedia to create your story.  Also, keep in mind, the entries don't need to be the highly polished videos or pictures - the story, and way to tell it, matters more.

In other words: It is great if you have a capacity to produce documentary quality content, but it is equally great if you don't have that capacity: some of the best videos these days are being shot by iPhones or other cell phones. We want to encourage you to tell your All-America Story and not let the lack of technology prevent you from doing that.

What Kind of Story?

It could be a change in the community as a whole, or a specific community improvement project, say, an effort to revitalize a particular neighborhood. It could be a program to improve local schools or promote youth civic engagement. For AAC participants, it could be a story about your community’s effort to compete in the AAC program or a story about what it meant to be named a finalist or an All-America City.

How do we enter the contest?

There are two ways to submit entries.

1) You can send a copy of the multimedia file on a compact disk to the National Civic League at 1889 York St., Denver, CO, 80206.

2) You can use YouTube to submit your video entry, and Flickr to submit a photo collection. Use your own/organization's YouTube and Flickr accounts for submission.

Send an email notification about your submission to the email address aac@ncl.org, with the submission date and the name of the Flickr or YouTube account where the content can be found. We will add the content on All-America City Awards' Playlist on YouTube, and to All-America City Awards' Flickr Favorites.

When submitting your videos and pictures, please tag the content with the following tags: “allamericacityaward” and “nationalcivicleague.” Please do tag your pictures and videos, because that is how we are able to find your content.

On YouTube, the maximum length of the video is 10 minutes, and the size is 2GB. You'll find more information how to upload videos on YouTube, and what formats to use under this link http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/topic.py?hl=en-uk&topic=16560

More information how to upload pictures on Flickr in this link http://www.flickr.com/help/photos/

How will the contest be judged?

There will be two winners: the winner chosen by the National Civic League, and another winner chosen by the public by voting at the All-AmericaCityAward.com blog. In the latter case, readers of the AAC Blog will vote on the best multimedia entry. The top vote winner will be the winner.

What criteria will be used to select the winner?

The multimedia entries will be judged on the basis of creativity, story-telling ability and personal impact. The beauty will be in the eye of the beholder, but we hope the voting audience will keep this quality in mind when they choose—the best, most vivid and most engaging use of media to tell a story.

What is the deadline for the All-America Story?

The deadline is June 1st. After that, the community voting will start, and will last until June 14.