FW: White House in-town pool report #1

From: Diaz, Kevin B [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, October 3, 2016 12:51 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO ; Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO
Subject: White House in-town pool report #1

President Barack Obama is borrowing Austin’s cool SXSW-vibe on Monday, hosting what is being billed as the first-ever “South by South Lawn” event at the White House, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Jones, and Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

Pool was led on tour of East Wing and South Lawn, where at noon we found POTUS, sans jacket, in white shirt and dark tie, taking a quick break and chatting with some of the vendors/exhibitors setting up for the day.

He inquired about an sculpture installation, gave out a few hugs as exhibitors gathered, and then as the press pool surrounded him, he left just as fast with an "All Right guys, I'm out of here... See you later this afternoon." He walked back into the Oval Office.

Pool was treated to a few rehearsal gigs, including ones by Black Alley and Gallant. Outside, in sunny, 74-degree weather drying out the soggy grass after nearly a week of rain, vendors displayed an array of experiences, from hot fries to virtual reality goggles.

A White House statement on the all-day event says it is “inspired by South by Southwest®… a festival of ideas, art, and action, and brings together creators, innovators, and organizers from across the country for a day of music, film, and conversation.”

The collaboration with South by South West’s producers, according to a White House statement, will “call on every American to roll up their sleeves and discover their own way to make a positive difference in our country.”

After a day of panel discussions and bands on the South Lawn, the president, who made an appearance at the Austin festival this year, will take part in a discussion with DiCaprio and Hayhoe.

Hayhoe is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, part of the Department of Interior’s South-Central Climate Science Center.

“Revenant” star DiCaprio, actor, film producer and environmental activist, is described in a the White House advancer as “a longtime ally in the fight against climate change.”

He is featured the eco-documentary “Before the Flood,” which will be screened at the White House later in the evening.

Obama explained his intention in an email to supporters: “Much like the festival I dropped by in Austin earlier this year, SXSL is, at its heart, a call to action. The folks out on the lawn today are artists, creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators who will share how they've used their unique skills to engage their communities in making the change they want to see -- whether it's curing cancer, fighting poverty, empowering women, and so much more.”

The talent includes DJ Bev Bond, the Dap-Kings, and the Lumineers.

The festival will be streamed live on WhiteHouse.gov, Facebook.com/WhiteHouse, and sxsw.com/live.je

Kevin Diaz

Houston Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers


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