ALTON - A part of Miles Davis returned home to Alton on Wednesday morning when the life-size statue was delivered and put in position.
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The Miles Davis Memorial Project was a collaboration between The Miles Davis Jazz Committee of the Alton Museum of History and Art and Pride, Inc.
Pat Ackmann and Karen Wilson have chaired the Miles Davis Memorial Project fund-raising drive for the statue. Both ladies were present when the statue was brought to its lasting position in Downtown Alton on Wednesday.
The statue will be unveiled to the public at 6 p.m. Saturday, with speakers starting at 5:30 p.m. A party in Downtown Alton will follow the presentation, with part of the area blocked off to traffic. Sculptor Preston Jackson was also present Wednesday and will be here for the unveiling and post party.
Wilson said when the statue was put into place she shed a few tears and squealed a bit.
“I didn’t know what I would feel, but I am excited for Saturday to share the statue with the world,” she said. “We will put the actual covering on the statue today with a tarp and ropes around it, then unveil it Saturday.”
Wilson said she and other committee members for the statue are expecting thousands from all across the country to come to Alton Saturday night.
“There are many loyal jazz followers of Davis throughout the country that have said they are going to attend,” she said.
Jody Basola has helped set up the different venues that will offer food and drink specials on Saturday. The variety of speakers will offer several perspectives on Davis, Wilson said.
Wilson stressed that every contribution from $1 to the $1,000 made the difference on whether or not the statue became a reality and were greatly appreciated by her and the others on the committee.
Ackmann said it was just overwhelming to see the statue arrive and be positioned Wednesday morning.
“We are so excited to see the statue on the ground,” she said. “It has been an amazing journey just to get to this point. It is a beautiful piece of art and we are really pleased with it.”