Press Release
February 6, 2014

Chicago to Showcase its Talent at South by Southwest Multi-Media Conference

Mayor Sends Chicago Organizations to Promote Local Talent at Annual South by Southwest Multi-Media Conference in Austin, Texas
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Choose Chicago, the official tourism organization for Chicago, in conjunction with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), World Business Chicago (WBC), and the Illinois Office of Tourism will promote Chicago’s technology, music, and film industries at South By Southwest (SXSW) for the first time March 9 – 12. The group will collaborate on Chicago Made; an initiative designed to educate SXSW attendees about Chicago natives who have made an indelible mark on their respective industries while living and working in Chicago.

“From music to movies to the latest tech companies, Chicago is home to the best and brightest in the industry,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago Made will bring local artists and influencers from across the city to South by Southwest to showcase our city’s creative, home-grown talent.”

Chicago Made events will include an exhibit booth at the SXSW trade show, a private reception for business leaders, and an official SXSW Chicago music showcase. The effort aims to increase awareness for Chicago as a business and tourism destination and showcase the city’s technology and cultural industries.

“This is not your typical trade show booth,” said Melissa Cherry, Choose Chicago Vice President of Cultural Tourism & Neighborhoods. “The entire concept is Chicago Made and we’re going to put Chicago out there in a big way, since this is our first time at SXSW.”

The Chicago Made exhibit booth will offer meet-and-greet opportunities with “Chicago Makers” — a “who’s who” from Chicago’s technology, music and film industries, along with performances by a variety of Chicago’s rising and established musical acts. The booth will feature lounge areas, mobile device charging stations, a 3D printing display by Inventables, and a 12-foot high visual centerpiece produced from original artwork by renowned Chicago artist Chris Silva.

The show takes place at the Austin Convention Center; admission is open to all SXSW badge holders and all SXSW showcasing artist wristband holders. The trade show will operate March 9 –11 from 11am – 6pm and March 12 from 11am – 4pm.

"Chicago Made is a great opportunity to showcase our city’s tremendous technology and creative industry talent to a global audience of thought-leaders at SXSW,” said World Business Chicago President & CEO Jeff Malehorn. “I look forward to discussing Mayor Emanuel’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs with industry leaders, and showcasing our ChicagoNEXT effort to drive growth and opportunity in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship."

In addition, Chicago thought leaders including President Obama’s 2012 campaign CTO Harper Reed, The Onion CEO Steve Hannah, former Nine Inch Nails drummer and author Martin Atkins, 1871 CEO Howard Tullman, and Inventables CEO Zach Kaplan will bring together their peers from other cities for an invitation-only networking event at The Chicago House on March 11. The event will be followed by a Chicago music showcase from 8pm – 2am at Red 7, a live music venue located in Austin’s music district. The music showcase will feature a homegrown lineup including rising hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper, Wilco bassist John Stirratt’s side project The Autumn Defense, high-energy DJ duo The Hood Internet, power-pop band Archie Powell & the Exports, indie rockers My Gold Mask, singer-songwriter Bonzie, and alternative rap artists ShowYouSuck and Prob Cause.

"Chicago is a music capital; it's the birthplace of Gospel music, home of the Blues, and its indie rock and hip-hop scenes are exploding. Further cultivating the city's music scene is a top priority of Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Cultural Plan and we aim to promote the city's talented musicians, signature festivals and legendary venues to our best advantage to support our rich and diverse music community, as well as attract cultural tourists to Chicago," said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. "The Chicago Made music showcase at SXSW offers music lovers of all kinds and industry professionals from around the world an opportunity to hear the success stories of our Chicago Makers."

The Chicago Made music showcase is open to all SXSW Music and Platinum Badge holders as well as SXSW music wristband holders.

“SXSW has grown into the largest and most influential festival of its kind,” said Choose Chicago President and CEO Don Welsh. “It has truly become a mecca for showcasing new technologies, exposing emerging brands, and bringing together some of the most important musical and visual artists in the world. It is our goal with Chicago Made to promote our city as a leading innovation center, an entertainment capital, and a top-tier cultural tourism destination at SXSW in 2014.”

A complete list of Chicago Made SXSW events will be posted on www.ChicagoMade.us. The website will also have information on all things that involve Chicago happening at SXSW in 2014. The official hashtag for Chicago Made events at SXSW is #ChicagoSXSW.

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