South by Southwest is almost here! The time of year when locals and visitors alike flock to the streets of Austin to celebrate culture, film, music, art, and food. Of course, this year, people across the world are flocking to their phones and computers, because SXSW 2021 is fully online! Although not quite the same as the Austin’s beloved annual (in person) festival, we are so glad that SXSW is still able to happen this year. I’m looking forward to being able to attend and participate in more events than ever before, using their online platform.
SXSW has an incredible history of giving back, something that is near and dear to my heart and so important to me when choosing organizations to support. Every year, they showcase world-changing non-profits from across the globe, invest in the local community, promote human rights, and support environmental protection.
Last year, SXSW donated over 3,000 shirts to turn into masks. They also donated over 2,000 SXSW bags for carrying PPE gear. Additionally, they supported many Austin non-profits such as Austin Parks Foundation, Junior League of Austin, Keep Austin Beautiful, CASA of Travis County, Austin Theatre Alliance, Austin Film Society, and Austin Music Foundation.
Even though this year’s SXSW is online, the inclusion of many wonderful non-profits is no different! SXSW is showcasing many non-profits through their Creative Industries Exhibition. Each organization offers private, virtual meeting slots to chat with them. Many organizations are also leading speaker sessions to learn more about their topic of choice.
Listed below are a few non-profits that are local to Austin and support great causes!
1/ Little Herds
Little Herds is a non-profit started in Austin back in 2013. Their original mission was to educate and empower the community about entomophagy, the practice of eating insects. Insects are an “environmentally sound and economically viable source of nutrition” for both humans and animals. They have participated at multiple events around the Austin area, including farmers markets and elementary school exhibitions.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020, Little Herds shifted their focus from helping people eat insects to increasing the accessibility of quality food for community members in need. They have teamed up with the Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation for The Future of Food event at SXSW this year. I look forward to tuning in to hear about how Little Herds is working towards a world of zero hunger and zero waste.
SXSW Online 2021 Showcase: The Future of Food – March 19 and 20 @ 9 am – 5 pm
The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) is a local non-profit started in 2005 which provides access to affordable healthcare for Austin’s working musicians. Many Austin musicians are self-employed and have no access to basic healthcare or company-provided health insurance. Musicians are often forced to work multiple jobs to pay for other necessities and have no funds left for healthcare. HAAM helps improve the lives of musicians in the area while focusing on wellness, mental health, addiction, and recovery support. Specifically, HAAM helps musicians with dental work, physician visits, prescriptions, counseling sessions, hearing screenings, eye exams, and much more!
We love HAAM and all that they do for Austin area musicians. HAAM day in September is an incredible event each year with live music performances all around the city. It’s a truly wonderful way to aid in HAAM’s fundraising efforts that provide healthcare plans, providers, and subsidies for Austin musicians. Since their inception, they have helped over 5,600 musicians access over $98 million in healthcare value! Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, and HAAM helps keep it that way.
SXSW Online 2021 Showcase: Online booth
–> Read More: “10 Must-see Austin Artists at SXSW Online 2021 Music Festival“
The Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium (TEXGHS) is a group of academic, public sector, and private sector partners coordinating efforts towards pandemic preparedness. TEXGHS was started in response to COVID-19, hoping to support innovations that fight the current pandemic and prepare for future ones.
TEXGHS is organized by the Austin Technology Incubator at the University of Texas. As a leader in global health security, they help the world prevent, treat, and recover from biological threats like the COVID-19 pandemic. TEXGHS supports the development of new technology that addresses infectious disease threats locally and at a global level.
Join the conversation about global health! Registration for the Global Health Security Demo Day is open to the public and does not require a SXSW pass.
SXSW Online 2021 Showcase: Global Health Security Demo Day – March 17 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Austin has numerous incredible non-profit organizations which support many wonderful causes. It is great to see so many of them showcased at SXSW Online 2021!
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which Austin non-profit are you looking forward to hearing from the most?