President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

SXSW has announced today that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will both be central during two different opening Keynote events at the upcoming festival, later this month. This marks the first time in the 30-year history of SXSW that a sitting President and the First Lady have participated in the event.

On Friday, March 11, President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, CEO / Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives. The President will call on the audience to apply their ideas and talents to make technology work for us – especially when it comes to tackling big challenges like increasing participation in the political process and fighting climate change. President Obama’s appearance is open to all SXSW Interactive, Gold, and Platinum registrants.

And on Wednesday, March 16, First Lady Michelle Obama comes to SXSW to discuss the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to break barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today, more than half of whom are adolescent. In celebration of Women’s History Month, the First Lady will push her call to action to support girls’ education. First Lady Michelle Obama’s event is open to all SXSW Music, Film, Gold, and Platinum registrants.

“I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate our event’s 30th year than to welcome both the President and First Lady to SXSW,” said Co-founder Roland Swenson. “As each new generation comes up at SXSW they look for ways they can be of service, and it’s important to reflect and support that message. President and Mrs. Obama’s visit here will inspire attendees to that purpose.”

More details regarding location, time, streaming, and access to both events will be announced via the SXSW website in the coming days.