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New mural honors Austin's first elected Latino mayor, Gus Garcia

People sit in rows of chairs in front of a blue and pink mural of Gus Garcia.
Michael Minasi
The Gus Garcia mural was unveiled Saturday at the Gustavo "Gus" L. Garcia Recreation Center in Austin.

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The legacy of Austin's first elected Latino mayor, Gustavo "Gus" Garcia, is now enshrined in a large-scale public mural in Northeast Austin.

The mural, created by artist Lindsey Millikan in partnership with Austin's Art in Public Places Program, sprawls across an entire exterior wall at the recreation center that bears Garcia's name. The public artwork features a portrait of the civic leader surrounded by vibrant images of the community he served.

Garcia broke barriers throughout his public career. In 1972, he became the first Latino elected to the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees. He was then elected three times to Austin City Council from 1991 to 1997. And in 2001, Garcia was elected mayor — making him the first elected Latino mayor of the city.

Garcia died in 2018 at his home in Austin, but his legacy endures throughout the city. The Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy provides public education to middle school boys in East Austin, and the Gustavo "Gus" L. Garcia Recreation Center is home to a program of enrichment activities for children and adults. The mural is the latest effort by city leaders to commemorate the trailblazing public servant.

The public can view the mural at 1201 E. Rundberg Lane.

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