Marana looks back to prepare for this year's competition

Above: representatives from Town of Marana, Marana Unified School District, Arizona Youth Partnership, Marana Chamber of Commerce, Marana Western Heritage Arena, and Marana Police Explorers made up the Marana delegation for the All-America City competition in 2015.

For the 2nd year in a row, Marana will send a delegation of community members led by the Town of Marana and Marana Unified School District to compete in the All-America City competition.  Marana's experience in the 2015 competition was unforgettable, and the delegation is prepared to use that experience as they prepare for this year's competition. Read more about last year's experience below, then visit the Road To All-America City 2016 page often to follow their journey to this year's competition in June. 

the application 

Marana began its months-long process for the 2015 All-America City award by submitting Marana-based programs that fit the National Civic League's theme for 2015: "Communities supporting vulnerable young males". The application was submitted in March 2015, and included community programs that promoted inclusive problem solving, and support for vulnerable populations. 

Marana received word of their finalist status in April 2015, and immediately began preparing for the competition that would take place in two months. The Marana delegation included representatives from Town of Marana, Marana Unified School District, Arizona Youth Partnership, Marana Chamber of Commerce, Marana Western Heritage Arena, and Marana Police Explorers.

Practice Makes Perfect

The Marana delegation spent the remaining weeks leading up to the June competition preparing for their presentation. They had ten minutes to present a creative performance to the All-America City judges, and the bar was high. They enlisted help from Marana High School drama teacher Heidi Barker to create a compelling script. The day before the presentation, the Marana delegation practiced for 10 hours straight outside the presentation hall. 

View the final presentation.

civil action fair & cultural showcase

Communities competing in the All-America City competition had the opportunity to showcase their communities and learn from one another. As the only Arizona community in attendance, the Marana delegation was excited to showcase what makes Marana great. Visitors to their booth learned more about Marana programs and attractions, and were encouraged to take fun, interactive photos that will stay with them long after the event was over. Trevor Robertson, the youngest participant in the delegation, gave roping and barrel racing demonstrations to showcase Marana's rodeo roots. 

the long-lasting impact of the all-america city competition

Marana did not win the All-America City designation in 2015, but the delegation left the competition with renewed perspective on what they could do to continue improving the Marana community. The All-America City theme encouraged conversation about diversity and inclusivity, and gave Marana a chance to learn from older and larger cities on how to solve very complex issues involving gang violence and socio-economic disparity. By learning from these other cities, Marana can anticipate problems that come with growth and time, and can address those issues before they become debilitating to the community. 

This was the first time multiple organizations in Marana came together in this way to work toward a common goal, and the experience drastically impacted their relationships in a positive way. After planning, rehearsing, and sharing their community with the rest of the nation, it was only natural to go home and continue strengthening those relationships. 

looking forward to this year's competition

Marana's journey for the All America City designation is not over yet. This year, the All-America City competition theme is "showcasing communities that ensure all children are healthy and supported to succeed in school and life." Marana has a number of amazing programs in the community, and the delegation looks forward to contributing to the  national discussion.