Ava DuVernay, George W. Bush, Chance the Rapper Join SXSW Speaker Lineup

South by Southwest Conference and Festivals has announced that Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg; author and host of the New York Times podcast “Together Apart” Priya Parker in conversation with Anand Giridharadas; and writer and author Charles Yu as Keynote Speakers, along with a new round of Featured Speakers for SXSW Online.

The virtual event takes place from March 16-20, 2021.

Buttigieg, Parker, and Yu join the Keynote lineup that includes previously-announced sessions from entrepreneur, political leader and author Stacey Abrams in a Keynote conversation with author N.K. Jemisi; and legendary musician, philanthropist and entrepreneur Willie Nelson in conversation with Texas Monthly writer at large Andy Langer. More information about SXSW programming formats and themes can be found here.

Newly-announced Featured Sessions include:

President George W. Bush in Conversation with Evan Smith: 43rd President of the United States of America, and author of the upcoming book Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants, George W. Bush in conversation co-founder and CEO of The Texas Tribune, Evan Smith.

Ava DuVernay with Franklin Leonard: Filmmaker and founder of narrative change collective ARRAY Ava DuVernay in conversation with film and television producer, and Black List founder and CEO Franklin Leonard.

A Conversation with Kenan Thompson and Chance the Rapper: Kenan Thompson and Chance the Rapper sit down for a fireside chat discussing Kenan’s successful long-ranging career, including his new NBC series, Kenan and his historic 18 seasons on Saturday Night Live.

The Daily Show News Team: Content from Their Couches: Join The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’s News Team Jordan Klepper, Michael Kosta, Desi Lydic, Dulcé Sloan and Roy Wood Jr. in conversation with NPR’s Eric Deggans, where they’ll discuss how the Comedy Central late-night franchise tackles politics, race and social issues on the show—all during a global pandemic. From pivoting production to their living rooms to masking up for campaign rallies, the team will offer an inside look into what it takes to create The Daily Social Distancing Show.

Going Viral: In Your Dreams: Today’s musical artists crave two things: global virality on platforms such as TikTok and career longevity. Mick Fleetwood has achieved both. Sustaining over 50 years in the industry as a founding member of Fleetwood Mac, Fleetwood was also part of TikTok’s biggest viral trend of 2020. TikTok has become the music industry’s best promotional tool since launching; breaking artists, new music and giving new life to catalog hits. Billions of video creations are set to music and its leaned-in and engaged community is driving chart success. TikTok’s Global Head of Music Ole Obermann has been at the heart of TikTok’s ascent since joining in 2019. Join Fleetwood and Obermann as they talk music, how to sustain a career, discovering new talent, the role of technology in shaping trends and culture, and what today’s music stars can learn from Fleetwood’s decades at the top.

Immunized: COVID-19 and the Race for a Vaccine: Join CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta with molecular virologist Dr Keith Chappell (University of Queensland) and immunologist, Professor Katie Ewer (University of Oxford) as they discuss scientific innovation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Gupta will also share a sneak peek from the forthcoming documentary for CNN Films and BBC, Race for the Vaccine/ Vaccine: The Inside Story, produced by Wingspan Productions and Global Health Reporting Center in association with the HHMI Tangled Bank Studios. The film has also been supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. This program is presented in partnership with CITIZEN BY CNN, the network’s civic engagement platform designed to engage voters in conversation about issues that matter

Impacts of Activism: CNN anchor and author of This is the Fire and host of the podcast Silence is Not an Option Don Lemon joins journalist Jemele Hill and Malcolm Jenkins, two-time Super Bowl Champion and founder of Broad Street Ventures, to talk about using personal platforms to fight against racism, the impact and potential consequences. This program is presented in partnership with CITIZEN BY CNN, the network’s civic engagement platform designed to engage voters in conversation about issues that matter

The Pandemic’s Hottest Concert Series: Musicians didn’t think twice about internet concerts before 2020. They could make more money in one night on the road than they could in a year on Twitch or Instagram Live. But the pandemic has stranded thousands of professional musicians at home, and brought out their innermost creativity. Of all the biggest at-home concerts, nothing comes close to Verzuz, a recurring event that is part concert series, part history lesson. Every few weeks, two musicians gather and take turns playing their biggest hits and telling stories from their careers. The project is the brainchild of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, two producers responsible for some of the biggest hits of the past 25 years. The old friends started by talking live on Instagram from their respective homes. But what started as an impromptu conversation between two music industry kingpins quickly morphed into must-see programming. Join Grammy-Award Winning music producer, entrepreneur and visionary Swizz Beatz, multi-platinum Grammy winning Super-producer Timbaland, music industry veteran Fadia Kader in conversation with Bloomberg News Lucas Shaw, for a conversation about the pandemic’s hottest concert series.

Raising the Bar: Accelerating Diversity in Music: This session with Warner Music Group Global Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Dr. Maurice A. Stinnett, Recording Academy Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Valeisha Butterfield-Jones, Color Of Change president Rashad Robinson, Sony Music EVP, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Tiffany R. Warren, and SVP, Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Officer at the Universal Music Group Liliahn Majeed will evaluate how inclusive the music industry is at this time across race, gender, age, and across all genres of music, highlighting the good, the bad, the ugly. Immersed in the day to day, music leaders on the panel will take a step back and discuss the most surprising and least surprising DE&I insights from within their organizations and their communities.

 

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