SXSW recognizes the power of community and strives to engage and contribute to the changing needs of our community with the support of a multitude of organizations.
2017 SXSW Community Grant
SXSW has created the SXSW Community Grant to recognize good work being done within local communities and help further that work by funding a project or program. This is a merit-based application process whereby qualified 501(c)(3) public charities may apply for a $10,000 grant from the SXSW Community Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas. SXSW feels that promoting good is one of many ways of helping foster creative innovation.
2017 SXSW Community Service Awards
A teacher and one of the original co-founders of the SXSW Interactive Festival, Dewey Winburne worked to train at-risk youth to make use of digital technology. Each spring, SXSW Interactive honors his vision with the SXSW Community Service Awards. Ten community do-gooders are recognized each year for their use of digital technology to help others at the awards ceremony. The SXSW Community Service Awards celebrates the spirit of community in Austin that we think is unique to SXSW.
Adopt-a-Street: Started on 6th, Staying on 6th
Keep Austin Beautiful’s Adopt-a-Street program gives local groups like SXSW the opportunity to help keep Austin beautiful by collecting litter and beautifying streets in the community. We have events to clean up our stretch on East 6th Street from Comal Street to Brushy Street four times a year.
Art at SXSW
South By Southwest celebrates the power of art. As part of our mission to showcase rising talent and established artists, SXSW will host several installations around Austin. This year, check out The Impossible Wall Project, our collaboration with POW WOW Hawaii and SprATX, hear from artists and industry leaders on panel discussions, and stop by the SXSW Eco Light Garden at Republic Square Park.
Family Eldercare / SafePlace
Each holiday season, SXSW raises in-house funds to provide necessities to local families and others in need. Several families are adopted through SafePlace, a local, Austin-area domestic abuse center and through FamilyEldercare, a local organization that provides services to seniors and adults living with disabilities. Donations provide everyday essentials such as clothes, bed linens, toiletries and grocery gift cards. Children also receive learning materials, books and toys.
HAAM is the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, an Austin-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide access to affordable health care for Austin’s low income, uninsured working musicians, with a focus on prevention and wellness. The nonprofit’s annual HAAM Benefit Day is a community event where businesses and residents of the city of Austin come together in support of local musicians. SXSWfm hosts a nighttime showcase on HAAM Benefit Day each year with music provided by local SXSW Music alumni.
Interactive Speaker Series
SXSW Interactive thrives because of its community-focused approach. The SXSW Interactive Speaker Series gives Austin-based innovative industry professionals a platform to talk about a project they are working on in a 30-minute presentation followed by an audience Q&A. These free evening events kick off with light refreshments and networking. This series also features a badge giveaway to two lucky attendees.
Shoal Creek Conservancy
Shoal Creek is in the heart of Austin, Texas. In 1839, it was the city’s original western boundary. Today, it is an artery into its urban core. In recent years, conditions in and around this unique Austin treasure have declined, and we feel restoring and protecting Shoal Creek will make Austin a more vibrant place to live, work and recreate. Partnering with Shoal Creek Conservancy, groups of SXSW employees organized by our Sustainability team head out into our community to cleanup and transform our creeks.
Each March, SXSW hosts the SXSWedu Expo designed to encourage and inspire learners of all ages to identify and reach their education and career goals. Mentorship from seasoned professionals, access to community leaders, school and career representatives, and youth showcases are featured throughout this free event for students, parents, teachers and community members.
SXSW Free Events
Special free and open-to-the public events during SXSW in March. From the SXSW Gaming Expo to the SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake and several events in between, there are a ton of free event options! Learn more at sxsw.com/free or get on the list at guestpass.sxsw.com.