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In March 2021, the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation and the Ann Richards Legacy Project teamed up to celebrate Women’s History Month and give a boost to downtown Austin by installing a striking series of ninety six “Ann Banners” along Congress Avenue from the Ann Richards Bridge to the Texas State Capitol. The red, white and blue vertical design captures the timeless iconic spirit of the late governor and features twelve images made throughout her lifetime paired with twelve notable quotes. The display also commemorates the  30th anniversary of Richards’ inauguration on January 15, 1991 when an estimated crowd of 15,000 Texans joined her in a peaceful march up Congress Avenue to the Capitol.


“Honoring this momentous woman and significant anniversary by introducing new audiences to her legacy, was a great fit for Writing on the Walls. We are excited for people to come out and see the banners, take photos and let her memory inspire a new generation of leaders.”

— Molly Alexander, Executive Director of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation

A Teacher

"Teaching was the hardest work I had ever done, including being Governor of Texas." Ann Richards started her professional life as a classroom teacher- teaching social studies and history at Fulmore (now Lively) Middle School in Austin. She always believed that education was the ticket to opportunity and equality and dedicated her professional life to breaking down the barriers for the disenfranchised. Today, the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders is Governor Richards' primary living legacy, with the goal to advance education, empower young women and create opportunities for girls who may otherwise be held back from achieving their full potential.

Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

A Public Servant

"Life isn't fair, but government absolutely must be." Richards, a mother of four and grandmother of eight, grew up near Waco, Texas. She was the first woman elected Travis County Commissioner and the first woman elected Texas State Treasurer before running for Governor. While in office, she appointed an unprecedented number of women, people of color, Texans with disabilities and LGBTQ community members to Texas boards and agencies. She attracted numerous new businesses to the state and appointed Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan as her ethics advisor. While Governor, Richards led a reform of the Texas prison system, including establishing a substance-abuse program.

Ann Richards Legacy Project

"Always look ahead and never look back." The Ann Richards Legacy Project is a newly formed non-profit organization whose goal is to inspire future generations to embody Governor RIchards' spirit and courage to lead. The organization is planning future public art projects and programs to honor Governor Richards' legacy. The Ann Richards Legacy Project was founded by Margaret Justus, who served as Richards' deputy press secretary from 1989-1994 and is currently an Austin-based communications consultant who leads Justus Communications LLC. For more information on Ann Richards Legacy Project, or to commission a Governor Richards inspired public art project in your community, you can visit

Ann Richards Legacy Project

“Governor Richards is one of the historic political leaders I admire most because she was a fearless woman who knew how to succeed in a world often dominated by men. She knew that if you can’t change the game, then you have to come up with new moves.”

— Austin Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison

Ann Richards Banner Images

We would like to thank…

Private contributions were raised to partially fund the project.  The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation would like to thank:

Governor Richards’ children- Cecile, Clark, Dan and Ellen Richards

Local photographers Ave Bonar, Kirk Tuck, Alan Pogue and Jana Birchum

The City of Austin

Pentagram (Austin Partner DJ Stout and lead designer Michelle Maudet)

Paramount Theatre

Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders and the Ann Richards School Foundation

Winkler Family Foundation

Ann Richards Legacy Project

Lynne Dobson and Greg Wooldridge




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