create / 2016

Building a home that shifts interactions from pixels to people, from loneliness to companionship.

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by thecool

We plan to create a space that encourages you to use all five senses in public - savor our menu, witness people’s gifts, play in the space, listen to conversations and music.


Please describe your project proposal.

thecool will disrupt the standard cafe experience by serving and engaging the community in an interactive space, with a culturally adventurous menu that integrates popular food and drink from various cuisines while elevating them in preparation, aesthetics, and taste. Guests are encouraged to surface their hidden talents, act as a catalyst for the brainstorming and exchange of innovative ideas, and provide all Angelenos an outlet to build community in an increasingly isolated and digital world.

Which of the create metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Arts establishments
  • Employment in the creative industries
  • Measures of cultural and global economic influence (“soft power”)

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to create?

Los Angeles is one of the premier cities in the world, the mecca of entertainment, art, fashion, and ideas. While LA is set apart by its creative heartbeat and passion to innovate, it still battles with issues such as, homelessness, loneliness, depression, violence, and injustice. We have an opportunity to leverage the strength of our City by harnessing its incredible gifts and entrepreneurism to create solutions that help solve LA’s chronic issues. We all have an innate desire for community and naturally find it over a meal. We will focus on this desire and enable the community to explore and use their talents to solve our City’s pressing issues.

thecool will provide the fuel and environment for social entrepreneurs to flourish, where conversations lead to ideas that are then developed elsewhere. We are venturing into uncharted territory by combining the gallery, the cocktail bar and the traditional tea-house into a curated environment that blends the strengths of these different domains into one cohesive, engaging experience. thecool will ignite our dormant passion for raw childlike creativity and as a result, increase opportunities for people to connect on various ideas and topics. thecool will drive more interest in the Arts as it becomes a platform for people to share their craft, whether it be performance or static works. This will infuse inspiration, encouragement, and wonder into the community. Artists can use the space as a tool to generate income, while locals can use it as a workshop to showcase and develop their artistry. This dynamic use of the space will not only sustain those employed in creative industries, but also grow that number as people change careers to work on the creativity explored at thecool.

thecool collaborates in an intentional way with socially conscious entities to help mobilize their mission, such as providing safe meeting grounds for inner city programs or leadership workshops within after school programs. Our concept will serve as a new model to other communities that wish to engage its people more intimately, improve overall quality of life, and harness the collective talents to solve chronic issues.

Many will be inspired and encouraged to act, as our neighbors expose their many hidden talents. This will further expand our perspectives and abilities, as LA has one of the most diverse mix of people in the world. We believe that more diversity will inspire guests to expose more of themselves that will then attract more diversity. This type of integration will net infinite possibilities.

Public spaces throughout history, particularly cafes, have been the birthplace and epicenter of movements. We want to bring back that paradigm and be the catalyst for ideas, movements, dreams. Through our welcoming interactive space, game changing menu, and talent sharing, we’ll nurture authentic community to address a pressing need in an otherwise lonely city.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

thecool will increase Arts Establishments per Capita by inviting concepts, groups, and individuals to host events within the space. This type of collaboration will cultivate a network of concepts that will either transform our space into an art establishment or transition externally to build a space of their own accessible to all. As a result, our relationships with local community establishments will allow us to guide similar concepts to fruition throughout the city. We will measure the progress of this metric by counting the number of new art spaces that develop out of events hosted at thecool.

We will increase Employment in the Creative Industries by celebrating every individual’s innate creativity. Our platform for all people to share and explore their passion will lead to new businesses in the creative field. Picture this, a local resident is encouraged to put on a photo series, and because it is well received by the community, he or she realizes their gift and makes a career transition. Monitoring these type of transitions or passions that turn into some form of creative employment will be our measure of this metric’s progress.

We will expand LA’s Global and Cultural Economic Influence as it becomes the unofficial community research and development studio for side projects, passions, and thought. We believe organization’s and individual’s testimonies of their experience and inspiration leading to new paths will become a model for other cities globally.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Advisors/board members
  • Staff
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support