Pablo Korona is a Rockford native and filmmaker. He’s taken charge of a movement called “Our City, Our Story,” a grassroots effort to showcase the stories behind the city. Every Tuesday, Korona releases a new mini-documentary on his website.
"Collectively, they’re Rockford, in our city and it’s part of our story. If you are going to tell me that’s not great… then…there’s no hope. But I cannot sit here and say Rockford is great, I can sit here and tell you all of the people in it are. They do make up Rockford. I am hoping with all of these videos we can create a chorus.” - Pablo Korona, filmmaker
Even with renewed spirit, there’s an old guard that’s seen a lot of talk about change.
Colleen Holmbeck is a long-time resident who checked in on Midway Museum's Rockford history exhibit. She admired the memorabilia of Rockford’s famed All-American Girls Professional Baseball team. Holmbeck admits everything isn’t as idyllic as when she was a little girl living in the city:
"I think the change in Rockford is like the change in the whole country. The biggest problem is the increasing gap between the rich and the poor. And I watch my old neighborhoods crumbling where I grew up and the city just all moving east." - Colleen Holmbeck, Rockford resident
Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey has heard from longtime residents about the state of morale ... but is quick to tout the new creative cadre of Rockford citizens like Pablo Korona. Morrissey used the “Our City, Our Story” as the theme of this year’s state of the city address:
"Our community needs to take ownership of its future and destiny. Yes, we live in a state that has challenges we live in a nation that has challenges. But what I’m really interested in seeing is that we do everything we can to control what we can … The “Our City, Our Story” theme. The good news is that there are a lot of very substantive things that are happening that are real, not make believe, not just a matter of public relations. There are great stories to be told about this city, our past, present and future.” - Larry Morrissey, Rockford Mayor
RELATED: History of Rockford
VIDEO: Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey talks to the Rockford Register Star after his State of the City address (March 2012)