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Keep Austin Weird

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Keep Austin Weird is the slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin, Texas. It is intended to promote local businesses and is inspired by comments made by Red Wassenich in 2000 while giving a pledge to a Austin radio station KOOP Radio.[1][2] He later began printing bumper stickers and operated the website keepaustinweird.com until his death in 2020[3] and published Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town.[4]

Despite a challenge from Wassenich, the slogan was later trademarked by Outhouse Designs and used to market T-shirts, hats, and mugs.[5][6][7] Other cities have since mimicked the nickname, including Portland in 2003, Louisville in 2005,[8] and Indianapolis in 2013.[9]

A 2010 book on the topic, Weird City: Sense of Place and Creative Resistance in Austin, Texas,[10] discusses the cultural evolution of the "Keep Austin Weird" movement as well as its commercialization and socio-political significance.[11][12] The origins of Austin's unique culture have been claimed to be the product of unusually cheap housing prices following the end of a housing boom in the 1980s, combined with the location of the University of Texas at Austin in the city.[13]

The Austin Independent Business Alliance is among at least 85 community organizations affiliated with the American Independent Business Alliance, a national non-profit that supports and connects pro-local community-based organizations.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What's the origin behind the 'Keep Austin Weird' slogan?". KXAN Austin. 2023-05-01. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  2. ^ Yonan, Joe (March 27, 2011). "Can Austin stay weird? It was originated in Oregon in 1983 and later adopted by". Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013.
  3. ^ Yardley, Jim (December 8, 2002). "Austin Journal; A Slogan Battle Keeps Austin Weird". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Wassenich, Red (2007). Keep Austin Weird: A Guide to the Odd Side of Town. Schiffer Books. ISBN 978-0764326394. The slogan was used
  5. ^ D'Annuzio, Francesca (March 6, 2020). "Austin Journal; "Keep Austin Weird" Originator Remembered for Choosing Community Over Capital". The Austin Chronicle.
  6. ^ Kanter, Alexis (September 9, 2004). "Keep Austin Weird?". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on March 8, 2005. Retrieved March 16, 2006.
  7. ^ Ross, Warren R. (August 15, 2005). "Structures of justice". UU World. XIX (3): 1. Retrieved September 11, 2007.
  8. ^ Sheldon S. Shafer (16 Feb 2015). "Group to celebrate Keeping Louisville Weird". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  9. ^ Anthony, Cara (October 13, 2014). "'The Keep' movement catches on in Indy". IndyStar. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  10. ^ Long, Joshua (2010). Weird City: Sense of Place and Creative Resistance in Austin, Texas. University of Texas Press.
  11. ^ Kelso, John (May 6, 2010). "It's Weird Social Science: Thesis on Austin now a book". Austin American Statesman.
  12. ^ Dunbar, Wells (June 4, 2010). "Viva la Resistance". Austin Chronicle.
  13. ^ Yglesias, Matthew (2018-09-28). "Austin can't stay weird". Vox. Retrieved 2020-12-30.
  14. ^ "HOPE Outdoor Gallery - HOPE".

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