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Arts & Life

House at SXSW showcases Michigan's creativity

Flickr user Lotus Carroll

The South by Southwest conference taking place in Austin, Texas right now showcases some of the most creative, leading-edge thinkers, musicians, writers and artists.

Joe Voss with Creative Many Michigan, previously known as ArtServe Michigan, wants to make sure Michigan's creativity is on display there. The organization's mission is to develop creative people, places and an economy that will boost the state.

And at South by Southwest, they're doing that through the Creative Many Michigan House.

The house showcases design elements and products from around Michigan, such as Herman Miller furniture, surfboards made in the state, and local breweries such as Founders.

"It's a highly curated house," Voss says.

ArtPrize has also set up a studio within the house, inviting bands to make recordings that will be entered into ArtPrize 2015.

The house has drawn many visitors who grew up or have spent time in the state, and Voss says the site has become a sort of unofficial embassy for Michigan.

With so many sponsors, the house has already hosted all sizes of events, including a concert supported by Opportunity Detroit with band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. from the city. The space's location just offsite from the conference itself has created a more relaxed and quiet environment according to Voss. He says the concert's backyard venue is generating an intimate feel different from the city's current chaos.

Voss wants the space to be a place for people to tell their stories about the state and highlight the beautiful products made in Michigan.

“If there’s a main takeaway it’s that there's a real creative drive in Michigan," says Voss.

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