At a recent Meridian Institute event at the IMA there was a panel discussion that nicely devolved into asking the age old question- "How to be cool?"
The question was framed by one of the panelists- Kristian Andersen, a friend and business associate of mine.
Cool is bottom up not top down. Find people, groups, organizations, that are just getting going and gently feed them. Just a little at a time as they find their legs. Think outside of the usual arts orgs or non-profits. These organizations are great but they are slllooooow. Let's fund and realize ideas quickly. I would urge the city or an individual or some organization to set up this micro-loan system online, I know a company that can help :). Perhaps it could allowing voting on some of the higher dollar ideas. This would be like a very local Kickstarter in a way. Perhaps it could be set up where the full funding is triggered once 25-50% is crowd sourced. Think about the huge impact this could have on the city! It would create buzz and attract artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and nerds from all around. Think of what the impact could be on our economy- the businesses that would come out of this, the tourists and talent that would flock to our city. Even if 90% of the investments fail to bring a return just a few success would more than justify the investment.