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Start Garden On The Road: A Week With Michigan House

Posted on by TriciaJackson,

As a sponsor, we are often asked to describe exactly what Michigan House is. You may have heard the 15-second elevator pitch: it’s a pop-up installation where Michigan’s most dynamic companies, organizations, artists and entrepreneurs share their stories under one roof, and a testament to a vibrant Michigan culture that isn’t just surviving - but thriving.

Great. So really, though. What is Michigan House?

Michigan House // Austin 2016

How did Michigan House end up in Texas? The SXSW installation of Michigan House might very well be the result of divine intervention. One, a cultural festival based on art (music and film), interactive media, and the super cool companies that commercialize these industries to all of us as consumers. The other, a roving pop-up illustrating just a few of the best things that make Michigan’s culture so dynamic - which also happen to be similarly highlighted as art (mainly music), interactive media, and super cool Michigan companies. The correlation is a clear connection that makes taking Michigan House to Austin during SXSW an obvious choice.

SXSW is spread vastly throughout the entirety of downtown Austin. But Michigan House? “Under one roof” means exactly that. The team spends countless hours transforming the space (any space, really) into what we later recognize as Michigan House. The venue gets filled with relevant products from local companies like Meijer, Founders Brewing, AMI Entertainment, Proper Soda, CAT Footwear, Shinola, Steelcase, Detroit Wallpaper, McClure’s Pickles, & Boxed Water (and many more). After all of the homegrown products are added, then we invite all of the Michiganders & expatriates in Austin. With the people come the creativity, conversations, music, stories, and culture.

The Michigan House team curates back-to-back experiences to encourage attendees to talk about our Great Lakes State. This year, ArtPrize set up a fully decked recording studio in the venue’s backyard guest house for five Michigan bands to record in daily. The headliners: ONEFREQ, The Accidentals, Heaters, Flint Eastwood & In Tall Buildings.

Conversations take place amongst people from the same state, even the same city, who come together with the initial intention to celebrate Michigan as a community. Michigan House allows for awareness of the opportunities within our state. Ultimately, the space is a place for us to break the rustbelt stereotype that the rest of the country has a hard time shaking. We get to tell the story of Michigan’s future in person, instead of Michigan’s history telling the story for us.

For more highlights from this year's Austin installation, visit

For more information about Michigan House, visit

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