Daniel Johnston’s legacy is all around at Austin City Limits Music Festival this year.
The prolific and iconic Austin songwriter and artist died last month at 58. With only a few weeks to organize an ACL tribute, organizers C3 Presents and the Hi How Are You Foundation recreated Johnston's "Hi, How Are You" mural at 21st and Guadalupe streets, which features the frog-like "Jeremiah the Innocent" character. The mural is ready-made social media posts from the festival; it's also meant to raise mental health awareness through the #HiHowAreYouProject hashtag — a scan on Instagram already shows many festival posts. Visitors write a message about mental health on a dry-erase board (or maybe Johnston lyrics) and pose.
View this post on Instagram
This message is for you. #hihowareyouproject #aclfest . . . . . . . @dostuff @hihowareyouproject @do512 #do512 #austin #mentalhealthawareness
On Saturday, the installation was run by husband-and-wife volunteers Abril and Ryan Robbins. Abril works at the Austin Child Guidance Center and said she heard from Johnston’s manager a week ago. She said they’re working with the foundation on a mental health curriculum for high school and middle school students.
“People have really opened up to us,” she said. “Maybe (about) someone that might have been related to them or passed away.”
Johnston's presence has been felt in more subtle ways during the fest, too. A print of the "Hi, How Are You" is available for purchase. And the Raconteurs' Jack White wore a "Hi, How Are You" shirt during the band's Friday set.
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