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Alive. Thriving. Welcoming. These sentiments capture the energy of Austin’s downtown area. We created the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation to preserve that energy and make informed, impactful decisions about downtown’s future.

The Foundation is a charitable, 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission to ignite the potential of downtown—through art and creative spaces that capture the spirit of Austin—by and for everyone. Through public space activations, place-based research, investment, and partnerships, we are helping to build a downtown everyone will love.

To get involved or for more information, please contact the Foundation.

Ann Richards Art Project

Writing on the Walls 2021 is a public art installation showcasing former Texas Governor Ann Richards, marking the 30th anniversary of her inauguration. The project features almost 100 banners along Congress Avenue containing twelve notable quotes and images of the big-haired governor throughout her lifetime.


Republic Square

Republic Square is an active, urban green space grounded in rich history. Today, the renovated park is unlike any other in Austin. Every week, events and programming bring Austinites together. Visit the square today to discover something new, reflect on the history, or enjoy a moment of respite.


Writing on the Walls

Writing on the Walls is an annual series of collaborative public art installations and events. At the inaugural event in March 2020, local, national, and international artists–Sandra Chevrier, Shepard Fairey, and Sadé Lawson–simultaneously created two new landmarks in downtown Austin.

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Signature Events

The Foundation is responsible for producing and curating family-friendly events that showcase the best of Austin. Annual celebrations like Austin’s Birthday Bash and the Downtown Holiday Stroll bring Austinites together for fun, free entertainment while increasing the economic and cultural impact of downtown.

Downtown Holiday Stroll

Every December we kick off the holiday season by hosting the Downtown Holiday Stroll, where thousands of Austinites gather to celebrate the holidays downtown. The stroll is accompanied by live music, carol singing, an artisan market, local food, performances and the downtown tree lighting.

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Austin's Birthday Bash

On August 1, 1839, Austin's first plots of land were auctioned off in present-day Republic Square under what we now call the Auction Oaks. Beginning In 2018, we started an annual family-friendly celebration of Austin’s birthday with food, live music, and free fun for the whole family. We'll bring back this event every August to celebrate the past, present and future of our great city.

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Future of Downtown

Future of Downtown is a new program highlighting the findings from our annual State of Downtown economic development report. In addition to insights on economic trends, we report on progress towards the community’s vision for the future of downtown.

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Transformative Projects   

Rathgeber Center

In 2019, the Salvation Army completed construction of the Rathgeber Center, a 212-bed shelter for families experiencing homelessness, but they faced a gap in funding to open and operate the shelter. The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation partnered with benefactor Dick Rathgeber to raise $380,000 to open the Center. In February 2020, all of the families and women from the downtown shelter moved into the Rathgeber Center, opening up 55 beds at the downtown shelter to accommodate single adults.

Republic Square

Republic Square is downtown’s central gathering place, and the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation is responsible for keeping it active and welcoming. The Foundation oversees all of the square’s operations, maintenance, programming and events. In September 2019, Republic Square was chosen by the Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks to participate in the inaugural 2019-2020 Partnerships Lab. It was one of only five organizations nationally selected for this prestigious mentoring and strategy development program.

Place-based Research

The Foundation will create place-based research to uncover what makes—and keeps—downtown vital, welcoming, and evolving in the right direction. The Downtown Alliance's strategy, priorities, and principles will continue to be guided by downtown data and the resulting analysis.

Support Our Work

When you give to the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation, you are making a direct impact on the future of downtown and the future of Austin. Your gift supports the projects and programs that will bring the Downtown Austin Vision to life and make ours The Downtown You Will Always Love.

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Founding Members

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