Smithsonian Seeks $300K to Rehab the Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz

News   Smithsonian Seeks $300K to Rehab the Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz
The Kickstarter campaign says it’s on a ”journey to preserve an American icon.”
Dorothy's Ruby Slippers
Dorothy's Ruby Slippers

The Smithsonian Institution has launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $300,000 to rehabilitate a pair of the original and iconic Ruby Slippers used in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz.

The magical red-sequined slippers, which whisked Dorothy back to Kansas with three heel taps and the words ”There's no place like home,” need to have their sequins reset and “a new, state-of-the-art display case, in order to slow their deterioration and protect them from environmental harm,” according to the Kickstarter page.

Though several pairs reportedly were made for the film, the Smithsonian asserts that these are the pair “worn by Judy Garland as she danced up the yellow brick road.”

The page answers questions about why a publicly funded entity like the Smithsonian is seeking additional money from the public. ”Federal appropriations provide the foundation of the Smithsonian's operating budget and support core functions, such as building operations and maintenance, and safeguarding the collections. Federal appropriations are insufficient to fund projects like the Ruby Slippers....”

To sweeten the pot, the Smithsonian has enlisted Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long to supply gifts for more generous donors. Those who donate $10 or more get a poster Long designed for the campaign; $25 or more gets a decal he designed; $50 or more gets a tote bag. The top donation, $10,000, gets you into the room while the museum’s restoration experts are repairing the shoes.

As of 2 PM October 18 the Smithsonian had collected $63,230 of the needed $300,000 with 29 days to go in the campaign.

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