Chicago to Showcase its Talent at South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conference

February 9, 2016

World Business Chicago, Choose Chicago and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Collaborate on ChicagoMade to Promote Chicago in Austin, Texas

Shannon McGhee, 312.589.5777

CHICAGO (February 9, 2016) – World Business Chicago (WBC), in partnership with Choose Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) will collaborate for a third year on ChicagoMade, an initiative designed to increase awareness of Chicago as a global business and tourism destination. The group will return to South by Southwest (SXSW) to promote Chicago’s technology, music and film industries.

ChicagoMade launched at SXSW in 2014 to promote Chicago’s creative industries and tech ecosystem,” said Wendi Taylor Nations, World Business Chicago Chief Marketing Officer. “Chicago’s presence at SXSW has connected us with new companies, helped us build stronger ties with existing Chicago companies and served as a platform for local companies to connect with investors and talent. Working with our partners to build these ties is vital to our economy’s continued growth.”

In previous years, ChicagoMade has generated national coverage showcasing Chicago companies and artists across the U.S. and abroad. Connections made during events have led to a number of commitments from companies to keep or expand their presence in Chicago and countless new relationships between businesses, investors, new talent, artists and A&R representatives.

Momentum will continue in 2016. This year, ChicagoMade will include a networking event – in collaboration with Chicago’s Sister City Hamburg, Germany – showcasing Chicago businesses on March 14 and a ChicagoMade Music Showcase on March 17. The effort will educate SXSW attendees about Chicagoans who have made an indelible mark on their respective industries while living and working in Chicago.

The ChicagoMade networking event will offer meet-and-greets with Chicago Ambassadors — a “who’s who” from Chicago’s technology, music and film industries, along with featured music from a variety of Chicago’s rising and established musical acts and products from Chicago companies. It will take place at Downtown Burgers (503 E Cesar Chavez St. in Austin). The event will be open to all SXSW badge holders and all SXSW showcasing artist wristband holders from 12-8pm.

“We are excited to once again make a lasting impression at SXSW in 2016,” said Melissa Cherry, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Cultural Tourism at Choose Chicago. “The Interactive event will serve as a space for our Chicago Ambassadors to meet with clients, mingle with guests, and will provide a platform to connect to an international audience and top talent.”

“Chicago is a music capital; it’s the birthplace of Gospel and House music, home of the Blues, and our indie rock and hip-hop scenes are exploding,” said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “Further cultivating the city’s music scene is a top priority of 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.”

Chicago’s music showcase will take place on Thursday, March 17 from 8pm–2am at The Main, 610 East 6th St., Austin, TX – a live music venue located in Austin’s music district. The music showcase will feature a homegrown lineup including Mick Jenkins, Che "Rhymefest" Smith, Phuture, Hawley, Saba and more to be announced. This event also features video mixing by VJ Giroscopio and is hosted by hiphop artist Psalm One a.k.a. Hologram Kizzie.

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

The website also features the stories of notable Chicago “Makers” including Kickstarter co-founder Charles Adler; The Smashing Pumpkins Drummer and CEO of LiveOne Inc. Jimmy Chamberlin; Thrill Jockey Records Founder Bettina Richards; punk rocker, author and educator Martin Atkins; Rapper Mick Jenkins; Bucketfeet Founder and CEO Raaja Nemani; acid-house music inventor Phuture and rapper and philanthropist Che “Rhymefest” Smith, among others.

For more information visit: The official hashtag for ChicagoMade events at SXSW is #ChicagoMade.



About World Business Chicago

Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago drives regional economic growth. WBC collaborates to create jobs, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy. A unique public-private partnership, WBC engages business and community leaders to advance Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. WBC is also home to the ChicagoNEXT council of technology leaders, a dedicated effort to drive business growth and opportunity in science, innovation and technology entrepreneurship. For more information, visit:


About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor destination leveraging the city's unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. For more information, visit


About Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit: