Fans of Judy Garland will soon be saying "Meet Me in Aitkin," with the launch today of the nation's first "National Judy Garland Talent Search."
In advance of the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz in 2014, the National Judy Garland Talent Search hopes to find one finalist per U.S. state to compete for the national title. Contestants, ranging from 18 to 45 years of age, will be judged based on their overall appearance and vocal talent.
Individual state finalists will gather in October, 2013 in Aitkin, MN, at the newly restored Aitkin Opera House at Butler's, the exact location where the Minnesota native, then named Frances Gumm, performed on-stage as part of the Gumm Sisters vaudeville act in 1925 at just three years old.
The winner of the nationwide contest will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and a set of professional headshots, in addition to widespread press exposure on local, regional and national TV news outlets, along with national recognition. They will also make an appearance at the 2014 Judy Garland Festival, held every year in Garland's birthplace of Grand Rapids.
A portion of the proceeds from the countrywide talent search, owned by The Butler Project, LLC, and produced by Allen Consulting (Holmdel, N. J.), will go to benefit The Rainbow Foundation and Sylvia's Children, a non-profit supporting a school in Uganda.
"Buying the Butler building and renovating the Aitkin Opera house (a local landmark) has been an exhilarating project knowing that it was the location for the humble beginning for such a talented lady," staTed Butler building owner, Sylvia Allen, who is also the founder of Allen Consulting, an internationally recognized event and marketing firm headquartered in Holmdel, N. J.
For more information on the National Judy Garland Talent Search, contact Sylvia Allen at Sylvia@allenconsulting.com, or call 732-946-8032.