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It's called the Oscar of civic progress, and St. Louis has won it for the first time since the 1960's. But what convinced the judges we deserved the All America City award? It was an innovative program credited as the art of the deal. The idea is simple: hire disadvantaged kids who need a job and teach them the skills they'll need to get a better one, using art to make it fun. And use real artists to help the kids create something to sell...
Imagine a bunch of curious Japanese tourists stepping gingerly through the ruins of a once-grand avenue of urban America, gawking at deserted and burned-out hulks of historic buildings, wondering how a great city could have sunk so low.
Regionalism, a value more frequently honored hereabouts in the abstract than in practice, paid off in a nice honor for St. Louis last week: The St. Louis region was named as one of 10 "All America" cities by the National Civic League.
Out of more than 100 cities that entered the the 2008 All-America City Award competition, St. Louis was one of the 10 selected as winners.
St. Louis Region Wins 2008 All-America City Award: The St. Louis region, represented by a diverse contingent of 20 citizens and leaders, won the 2008 All-America City Award on Friday evening, presented by the National Civic League, at an awards ceremony in Tampa. St. Louis was the only region to make the finalist group from among more than 100 nominees, and is the only metro region in the nation this year to be designated an All-America. City