Spirit of Detroit goes purple for Detroit Youth Choir

The iconic Spirit of Detroit statue downtown has worn the jerseys of the Detroit Pistons, Red Wings, Lions, and Michigan State football in the past. This morning, at the crack of dawn, a purple Detroit Youth Choir (DYC) sweater vest and bow tie emblazoned with the choir’s crest was placed on the statue in honor of the Detroit Youth Choir’s success on the NBC show “America’s Got Talent.”

Crews dressed the statue, outside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center at 2 Woodward Ave., on Tuesday just before 7 a.m.

Mayor Mike Duggan said that adorning the famous Spirit of Detroit statue is a fitting tribute for the Detroit Youth Choir because of how well they have represented the city and its youth to the entire country.

“The Detroit Youth Choir represents the very best of Detroit. They really have become America’s Choir because people across the country are moved by their incredible talent, creativity and inspiring messages,” said Mayor Duggan. “The entire city of Detroit is rooting for them as they head into the finals tonight.”

TCF Bank sponsored the effort and Detroit-based Prop Art Studio created the wardrobe for the Spirit of Detroit. The Spirit of Detroit has worn sports jerseys before in honor of the teams’ championships, but never anything that pays homage to the arts of the city.

“The Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority, owner fiduciary of the Spirit of Detroit statue, finds it befitting to adorn our beloved iconic sculpture to celebrate the Detroit Youth Choir to showcase our city’s pride and that of everyone who cheers what the choir has achieved,” said Sharon Madison, Commission Chair of the Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority. “The arts is very important to the Authority and we are proud of the choir’s vast talent and unwavering perseverance as winners no matter the outcome; this is the true Spirit of Detroit.”

It is unclear how long the statue will wear the sweater vest and bow tie, but the entire City of Detroit will be cheering for the Detroit Youth Choir as they compete in the final round of America’s Got Talent on Tuesday night. DYC will compete with nine other acts for the championship, the $1 million grand prize, and to headline a show at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. Voting will open at 8 p.m. and run through 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

The entire City of Detroit has supported DYC, going purple, including Comerica Park, Campus Martius, and Greektown and Motor City Casinos, and others.

The Spirit of Detroit, created by world-famous sculptor Marshall Fredericks, arrived on the docks of the Detroit River, September 20, 1958 on the Thomas Schulte ship. It was unloaded and taken to the City-County Building for an official ceremony days later. Three days later, September 23, the Spirit of Detroit was officially dedicated to the city.

The bronze statue is 26-feet tall and cost $58,000 to make. The statue’s left hand grips a gilded sphere emanating rays that symbolizes divinity, while its right hand holds a family, which symbolizes all human relationships. On the marble wall behind the statue are the seals of Detroit and Wayne County and the scripture from 2 Corinthians 3:17. It reads: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” It has a value of over $1 million as of 2013.


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