Commander-in-Coolness Hosts White House Fest

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Commander-in-Coolness Hosts White House Fest

By Betsy Corcoran (Columnist)     Oct 2, 2016

Commander-in-Coolness Hosts White House Fest

So the White House is getting hip now? (Oh, we could have used this earlier!)

On Monday, October 3, the White House will playfully host the "first-ever South by South Lawn (SXSL)" event. The feds are calling it "a festival to celebrate the spirit of innovation and bring together creative thinkers and entrepreneurs."

The event kicked off with a glorious centerpiece on Sunday--the 3rd Annual White House Student Film Festival, celebrating the work of some of the 700 K-12 students who submitted short films for the competition. The theme this year: “The World I Want To Live In.” Take a peek here or watch the finalists' work below.

Hint: Start at minute 35:35

There are some notable headliners. Among them: musicians The Lumineers and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Leonardo DiCaprio is premiering his climate change documentary, Before the Flood and cast members from Stranger Things will be on hand, as well.

And there will be plenty of exhibits and weighty words slated for Monday, from a morning discussion at the Newseum between artist James Turrell and architect David Adjaye on "the challenges and rewards of taking on the 'hard things' through their groundbreaking projects," to an afternoon panel on fixing things featuring New York Times magazine writer, Jenna Wortham; entrepreneur and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield; Jukay Hsu, founder of Coalition for Queens (C4Q), which creates pathways out of poverty through technology; Chris Redlitz, cofounder of The Last Mile, a California-based technology training program for incarcerated men and women; and Nina Tandon, CEO and co-founder of EpiBone.

For anyone outside the Beltway, check out live streaming events on,, and of course, via Twitter on #SXSL. Innovate on!

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