The Best of D.C. Heads to SXSW

The WeDC Roll Call party on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Carnegie Library in northwest D.C. (Mark Mahoney)
The WeDC Roll Call party on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Carnegie Library in northwest D.C. (Mark Mahoney)

The District’s top makers, entrepreneurs and creatives showcased the city’s diverse music, tech and culinary scene at a kickoff party before taking their talents to Texas for the famed South by Southwest (SXSW) festival.

The Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP), in collaboration with Events DC and Mayor Muriel Bowser, held a Roll Call event on Friday, Feb. 24 at the Carnegie Library in Northwest to preview what to expect at the WeDC House at SXSW in Austin from March 11-13.

“Washington, D.C.’s values are embodied in our diverse neighborhoods and our ability to support underrepresented entrepreneurs, and it is these same qualities that make us the capital of inclusive innovation,” Bowser said. “At SXSW, we will once again showcase why Washington, DC is the best city to invest in and why our population is the highest it’s been in 40 years, with almost 1,000 people moving to DC each month.”

The collaboration will showcase D.C. as the “Capital of Inclusive Innovation” by celebrating the best of its diverse tech and innovation community and its creative economy at the country’s premier film and music festival.

Events DC touted that last year the District ranked as the Best City for Women in Tech, number two for Best City for Tech Jobs in the Country, Restaurant City of the Year, and the fourth Best Place to Live in the Country.

The WeDC House will host 23 WeDC Ambassadors to represent the District and further the ultimate goal at SXSW of expanding the city’s technology sector, promoting D.C’s innovative startup community and fostering new partnerships among the local and national business communities.

WeDC Ambassadors are District-based entrepreneurs and innovators selected as representatives from the D.C. business community because of their work contributing to the culture of the city.

The city’s acclaimed and diverse culinary scene will also represent the District’s status as a food destination at SXSW.

Renowned D.C.-based chefs Tim Ma of Kyirisan, Cava Grill CEO Brett Schulman and Michael Schlow of restaurants including Alta Strada City Vista and Casolare will all host activities within the WeDC House in Austin.

“As a chef, I’m happiest when I’m putting out good food for good people,” said Ma, owner of Kyirisan. “D.C. is where my wife Joey and I grew up, where we’re raising our family, and where my restaurants are. We have this amazing community of brilliant, talented people from all walks of life that keeps me inspired every day, and I couldn’t be more honored to represent our city — my hometown — at SXSW this year.”

Representing the cultural and entertainment scene, D.C. natives Thievery Corporation will be joined by DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown aka Erykah Badu and rap icons Wu-Tang Clan to headline Events DC’s Official Music Showcase at SXSW.

The Grammy-nominated artists will hit the stage Tuesday, March 14 at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theatre for one of the most anticipated performances at SXSW.

“With our roots based in Washington, D.C., we couldn’t be more energized to represent the District, the capital of inclusive innovation at SXSW,” said Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation. “From the world’s first sounds of go-go to its historical influence in jazz, D.C. sounds echo around the globe, playing a vital role in the building blocks of popular music. And just like that — our sound is about including styles from around the world to create innovative and inclusive music.”

About Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer 146 Articles
Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s millennial publication. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, she attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. A proud southern girl, her lineage can be traced to the Gullah people inhabiting the low-country of South Carolina. The history of the Gullah people and the Geechee Dialect can be found on the top floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In her spare time she enjoys watching either college football or the Food Channel and experimenting with make-up. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at www.sarafinasaid.com. E-mail: Swright@washingtoninformer.com Social Media Handles: Twitter: @dreamersexpress, Instagram: @Sarafinasaid, Snapchat: @Sarafinasaid