#CultureHouse Brings More than Culture to SXSW - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

There were tons of activations this year that reflected black culture at SXSW, much more than we’ve seen in the past, but Culture House claims to have done more than just that.

“SXSW can be a great experience, but at the same time can be a polarizing one. We wanted to change that—we wanted to create an inclusive, fun, unique, productive, and multicultural experience for a diverse community at SXSW. We wanted to create a space where creatives, entrepreneurs, corporate execs, entertainment and sports professionals could casually interact and start the process of building symbiotic professional relationships,” stated Marlon Nichols, managing partner of Cross Culture Ventures.

Prior to, they focused on creating an intimate setting, gathering around a brunch that featured Franklin’s BBQ but this year, they made it a goal to up the ante. “We collaborated with LISNR to create a full day of programming. Thanks to our activation partner Madness and our sponsors Southwest Airlines, SamsungNEXT, Cintrifuse, Stradling, Hillman, Hooch Black, and Homage, in addition to the brunch tradition we hosted a conversation about the convergence of sports, tech and investing that featured former NBA All-Star Baron Davis and a day party that extended well into the evening that featured a live performance by Talib Kweli and was DJ’d by Mick, Coco & Breezy, and King Ivan,” Nichols continued.

Rodney Williams, Marlon Nichols and Talib Kweli at Culture House (Image: Cross Culture Ventures)

Rodney Williams, Marlon Nichols, and Talib Kweli at Culture House (Image: Cross Culture Ventures)

“It was a special sight to see an even mix of men, women, black, brown, and white professionals fill a three-story home with two rooftop decks throughout the day.  The guests ranged from Miguel Gamino (CTO of New York City) to Brittney Luse and Eric Eddings (co-hosts and producers of the Nod, a Gimlet Media Show) to Bozoma Saint John (CBO of Uber) to Jacob Hsu (CEO of Catalyte) and included dozens of entrepreneurs and investors.”

LISNR’s involvement made the experience more interactive. The company provided guests with Sound tickets that produced a low-frequency sound wave, which each guest had to present before entering.

“For LISNR, we wanted to bring together our partners, investors, future advocates, and friends all together in a way that represents the world we see. A world where technology and the things we all love are defined and innovated through culture. We represent that culture. We’re that innovation,” explained Rodney Williams, founder, and CEO of LISNR.

Is this the future of SXSW activations, diverse houses that are all-inclusive, providing programming that adds value, a relaxed atmosphere, and vibed out entertainment? We sure hope so. With all the chaos that SXSW provides, it’s nice to have a sanctuary where you can check off all the boxes that provide a well-rounded experience all in one location.

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Sequoia Blodgett

Sequoia Blodgett is a Reporter for Black Enterprise. She is also the founder of Commas, a consulting firm that gives entrepreneurs access to top tech and creative resources to help them grow their business.


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