Franklin is an All-America City!
On August 19, 2020, Franklin was named as one of 10 All-America Cities by the National Civic League. The All-America City Award recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. The All-America City Award shines a spotlight on the incredible work taking place in communities across the country. By celebrating the best in local innovation, civic engagement and cross-sector collaboration, the All-America City Awards remind us of the potential within every community to tackle tough issues and create real change. The award is open to all American communities, from major cities, counties and regions to tribes, towns and villages. The 2020 All-America City theme was “Enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement” and is focused on celebrating examples of citizen-driven civic engagement practices that advance health and well-being in local communities.
All applicants submitted their community-wide work on enhancing health and well-being through inclusive civic engagement and three projects for consideration, and the field was narrowed to 22. Finalist communities made presentations virtually to a jury of 11 national thought-leaders, showing how their community leverages civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. The judges then chose 10 winners during an award ceremony held on August 19, 2020.
The City of Franklin and Franklin Tomorrow worked together to pursue the All-America City Award. Franklin is the first Tennessee city since 1999 to be a finalist and a winner for the All-America City Award. As a finalist, Franklin presented to a panel of judges on Wednesday, August 19 where the city of Franklin and Franklin Tomorrow shared their story. During the presentation, the City of Franklin and Franklin Tomorrow discussed the challenges and accomplishments that Franklin has experienced throughout its history and initiatives that have been put in place in the community including the Fuller Story, On The Table, Get Fit Franklin, and the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel, Find Hope Franklin and Unite Williamson. Watch the full presentation here.
During the 10-minute presentation, Franklin community members and leaders including City of Franklin Administrator Eric Stuckey, City Historian and Battle of Franklin Trust CEO Eric Jacobson and Strong Tower Bible Church Pastor and Fuller Story Co-founder Chris Williamson discussed The Fuller Story in front of the Franklin Square, where they discussed what is next to come for Franklin and The Fuller Story.
In the second segment of the presentation, Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore, Franklin Tomorrow Executive Director Mindy Tate, and Franklin Tomorrow Board President Allena Bell discussed On The Table, Get Fit Franklin, and the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel, Find Hope Franklin and Unite Williamson overlooking Downtown Franklin in the e|spaces co-working space.
“I want to commend you on your Fuller Story. It is amazing. I did some numbers in my head and you have an 80,000 population with 6 percent African American, which is about 4,800 people, yet you would take this very proactive step to put a monument and other markers.” said Hampton, Va., Mayor Donnie Tuck, while serving as a judge of the contest.
“Franklin, Tennessee, we are thankful for the difficult work and the really difficult conversations and the way that you brought in history that represents stories that are so seldom told. We are thankful for the difficult work and ongoing work that you are doing there, as well as Franklin Tomorrow not only planning for tomorrow but doing work today,” Judge Angela Romans said of Franklin’s presentation
Cultural Entertainment Showcase
On top of being named an All-America City, Franklin also won the All-America City Cultural Entertainment Showcase with a video performed and produced by StudioTenn. The Cultural Entertainment Showcase video highlights the talents of StudioTenn and Franklin community members and those that have participated in many of StudioTenn’s events including StudioTenn’s Artistic Director Patrick Cassidy and acclaimed singer Patrick Thomas. The video also features the great work that StudioTenn has been doing over the last several months including a performance by one of the winners of StudioTenn’s Virtual Musical Theater Performance Contest. StudioTenn has also been producing “StudioTenn Talks: Conversations with Patrick Cassidy”, a virtual talk show hosted by Artistic Director Patrick Cassidy featuring exclusive interviews with acclaimed performing artists from Broadway, film and music, which is featured in the Cultural Entertainment Showcase as well. You can watch the full Cultural Entertainment Showcase here.
Social Media Campaign
The City of Franklin and Franklin Tomorrow supported its presentation by promoting a social media campaign during the month of August. Franklin Tomorrow and the City of Franklin asked citizens to make a short video about why they love being a #Franklinite or what makes Franklin an All-American city. You can watch the #Franklinite videos here.
Franklin Tomorrow also created a Facebook frame to promote the event that was used by many Franklin citizens.