SXSL: White House Announces Innovation Festival

The new festival, called South by South Lawn, is intended to serve as a platform for the nation's foremost innovators and creators.

by / September 6, 2016
President Barack Obama participates in a discussion and Q&A with Evan Smith, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Tribune, during the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival at the Long Center for Performing Arts in Austin, Texas, March 11, 2016. Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

Adopting the spirit of South by Southwest, Austin’s annual film, music and media festival, the White House announced on Sept. 1 the creation of its own festival, centered around innovation. The new event, which will take place Oct. 3, is called South by South Lawn (SXSL) and is intended to serve as a platform for the nation's foremost innovators and creators.

Partners include the American Film Institute (AFI), the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities (PCAH), and South by Southwest. The day will be divided into three parts: interactive discussion panels, music and film. Topics of discussion will include how to make change stick and how to use platforms to create positive impact.

Short films will be displayed from a pool of more than 700 that were submitted by students who responded to the theme "The World I Want to Live In."

Musical acts have not yet been announced, but according to the White House announcement page, they will include "well-known and emerging artists."

The event is accepting nominees through Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. Eastern time for people who are creating change in their communities. An online submission form can be found here.