Events / Federal government

Apply to attend the White House’s first SXSW-inspired South by South Lawn

One of President Obama's last hurrahs? A presidential take on the Austin festival.

South by South Lawn gonna be lit. (Photo by Flickr user wbeem, used under a Creative Commons license)

The White House is doing its own take on South by Southwest this fall.
It announced yesterday that on Oct. 3, it plans to host what it’s calling South by South Lawn (SXSL), designed to “celebrate the spirit of innovation,” à la the annual Austin tech and music festival. It’s even working in partnership with the festival itself.
The event aims to “bring together creators, innovators and organizers who work day in and day out to improve the lives of their fellow Americans and people around the world,” according to the press release. Just like the Austin festival, there’ll be a music, film and interactive portion of the day.
It appears to be an invite-only type event and The White House is seeking recommendations for attendees. (It reminds us of the recent White House LGBTQ Tech and Innovation Summit in that way.)
Nominate attendees
Along with SXSW, the event will be organized in partnership with The American Film Institute and the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.
President Obama spoke at this year’s SXSW about innovation and civic engagement, and here’s a look at 27 #DCtech panels up for consideration at next year’s festival. Today’s the last day to vote for them and help get ’em to Austin, btw.
For the last four years, #DCtech has had a significant presence at the festival, with the Washington, DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) renting out a restaurant across from the Austin Convention Center as its homebase and hosting DC startup showcases, concerts and talks there. (In 2015, the budget for D.C.’s presence at SXSW drew criticism.) This year, the WDCEP chose D.C. ambassadors to represent the District at SXSW and all around the festival, you’d spot folks dressed in D.C.-branded T-shirts.

Companies: SXSW / White House

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