The work of being an independent artist, or anyone hustling to make both financial and creative ends meet is arduous, sometimes lonely, and long. I’ve spent the last ten years actively pursuing my dreams, as a responsible adult in waking life. I understand how personal, precious and private our dreams are, and how vulnerable we are when we share them in public. My work spans programming, arts and media production throughout the social sector, specifically in areas of identity, self-expression and building spaces for collaboration.
I am currently at Parsons College of Design building new business models for sustainable artist livelihoods. My decade of experience in developing and managing creative projects, was honed by working across a broad spectrum of organizations: multinational corporate media companies, a national philanthropic foundation, small non-profit community organizations, and for myself as an artist and facilitator. I’m currently recording my first studio album titled Beauty, with the support of a grant from the Ontario Arts Council.
I love animals. I prefer thunderstorms to bright days. I love deep dark teas. Taking risks to connect with new ideas and people are a few of my favourite things.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up in Toronto until my wanderlust took me to Vancouver to study Forestry at UBC. During my time there, I gained experience in various aspects of the science and resource extraction industries, and graduated to become a specialist in experiential education and community development. I am currently deepening my scientific skills through pursuing a Master of Science at the University of Guelph, while additionally completing exams to practice acupuncture in Ontario.
Design is my passion and how I communicate and my primary desire is to understand and help others. My dream is to contribute to creating a world where a society and culture of inclusion is the norm, and in which all are empowered to pursue their dreams–creative or otherwise.
If you live in Toronto, you probably already know Kawai – or know someone who does. He’s friendly, curious, passionate, and a font of knowledge for all things culture in Toronto. He’s also one of the busiest people we know – always on the go and looking for the next cool thing to be a part of (we’re not sure when or if he sleeps) – but he’ll stop by here soon to tell you more.
Much of my work involves project management, content development, and education. Over the last few years, I’ve worked for a global publishing house where I’ve developed books on a range of subjects—from gender studies, to social inequality, to cultural anthropology. I’ve also worked on digital education initiatives, including collaborating on curating an online library of documentaries designed as a learning tool for university students. More recently, I've had an opportunity to work in the area of marketing.
My M.A. degree focused on race/ethnicity and “otherness” in various media forms -- and I remain as interested as ever in issues of culture and diversity, and in exploring processes that foster connection, collaboration, and value creation.
How do you tell authentic stories that connect people? My professional and creative endeavors have revolved around this question.
It comes down to researching and implementing outreach and storytelling strategies that bring organizations to life and connect them with their communities. That area of research became a nerdy interest of mine as I was finishing graduate research at Ryerson University.
My experience in communications, community-building and managing diverse projects taught me that collaboration and innovation make great ideas a reality. I am also a culture geek who loves music, art, films, literature, great design, and podcasts.