Company Partners with 13-Year-Old Kate Connick and Her Father, Harry
Connick, Jr., to Debut Original Song, "A Lot Like Me"
MIDDLETON, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
For the first time in American Girl's 25-year history, the company is
introducing two different historical characters, Cécile
Rey™ and Marie-Grace Gardner™,
in one six-book series set in 1850s New Orleans. The new
characters—one African American and one Caucasian—show the power of
friendship and community as they reach across the boundaries of race and
class to help their families, friends, and city during a time of great
need. To celebrate Cécile and Marie-Grace's debut and the rich musical
tradition of New Orleans, American Girl has partnered with 13-year-old Kate
Connick and her father, world-renowned musician and actor Harry
Connick, Jr., to create an original song—"A
Lot Like Me"—with all proceeds benefiting the Ellis
Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans.
The new Cecile and Marie-Grace historical dolls from American Girl. (Photo: Business Wire)
"We're proud to introduce Cécile
and Marie-Grace to our historical line and excited to be partnering
with Kate and Harry Connick, Jr.," says Ellen L. Brothers, president of
American Girl. "We know our fans will embrace the New Orleans characters
and Kate's song, as they express the values of friendship, bridging
differences, and working together to help others."
Taking inspiration from the Cécile and Marie-Grace stories, "A Lot Like
Me"—performed by Kate and written and accompanied by her father—shows
girls the importance of looking within to find the true meaning of
friendship. Available exclusively on iTunes in August, all proceeds from
song downloads will benefit after-school programming at the newly
founded Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans. Located in the
heart of Musicians' Village in the Upper Ninth Ward, the center provides
classrooms, rehearsal space, a recording studio, and a state-of-the-art
performance hall. Most importantly, the center ensures that the New
Orleans sound will live on and local children will continue to learn
from music legends.
" ‘A Lot Like Me' is a really fun song with such a good
message—just like the books about Cécile and Marie-Grace. It's about
knowing that it doesn't matter what skin color you have or what religion
you follow—what's inside is what's important," said Kate Connick. "I
have friends who have different backgrounds. They come from different
places, so this means something to me. I'm just so happy that I get to
be a part of it."
Despite different backgrounds and life stories, Cécile (a bold,
confident girl from a well-to-do African American family), and shy,
caring Marie-Grace (who has just moved back to New Orleans with her
father), form a unique bond through their shared love of music. Later,
their growing friendship deepens as they work together to help their
community during the yellow fever epidemic that sweeps through New
Orleans in 1853. Each character is brought to life through a beautifully
designed 18-inch doll, plus an array of historically accurate and
culturally authentic clothes and accessories that reflect the girls'
heritage and time period.
Cécile's stories are authored by Denise Lewis Patrick, and Marie-Grace's
books are written by Sarah Masters Buckey. The stories—starting with Meet
Marie-Grace and Meet Cécile—weave together in one six-book
fiction series, offering readers alternating perspectives of both
The Cécile and Marie-Grace dolls, books, and accessories will be
available to pre-order on August 8, 2011 at americangirl.com,
at all American Girl retail locations, or by calling 1-800-845-0005.
The new line officially launches in all American Girl outlets on August
About American Girl
American Girl Brands, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, Inc.
the world's leading toy company. Since American Girl's inception in
1986, the company has devoted its entire business to celebrating the
potential of girls ages 3 to 12. American Girl encourages girls to
dream, to grow, to aspire, to create, and to imagine through a wide
range of engaging and insightful books, age-appropriate and educational
products, and unforgettable experiences. In meeting its mission with a
vigilant eye toward quality and service, American Girl has earned the
loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents
and educators. To learn more about American Girl or to request a free
catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005 or visit www.americangirl.com.
About the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music
The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a 17,000-square-foot facility newly
constructed in the Upper Ninth Ward in New Orleans, will be the
centerpiece of the Musicians' Village. Slated to open August 25, 2011,
the Center will serve as a performance, education, and community venue
that will include a 150-seat performance hall, recording studios,
teaching facilities for individual and group instruction, and a
gathering place for the community. For after-school programming, the
center will partner with neighborhood schools to provide music and dance
lessons in a safe environment for children in the Upper Ninth Ward, many
of whom lost everything in the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6820835&lang=en
Julie Parks, 608.836.4848
Source: American Girl Brands, LLC
News Provided by Acquire Media