Meet Mitsuki Amano, Toronto Arts Foundation’s new Donor Relations Coordinator
“Fundraising is all about relationship building,” says Mitsuki Amano. Through fundraising “you build a community of supporters, who have the same interests, and love what you do. That is really important as a fundraiser in the arts.”
Amano is a newcomer to Canada, having moved here four years ago from Japan. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English Studies from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, a joint Master's of Management in International Arts Management from Southern Methodist University and HEC Montréal. Amano was still in Japan when he first became interested in the relationship between art and community. “My hometown is very close to the epicentre of the Great East Japan Earthquake,” he says. Amano recalls how in the aftermath of the destruction multiple arts initiatives and projects were produced for the disaster-struck communities. The purpose of many of these initiatives was to use the transformative power of the arts to bring communities together in a post-disaster context.
“There were many festivals in coastal towns that were destroyed,” says Amano. He recalls how several communities had their own festivals, with their own traditions of music and other art forms. “So, some projects decided to focus on these platforms, bringing arts activities back, in an effort to improve the social capital of these communities.”
Discovering the role the arts can play post-disaster, Amano became interested in this connection between arts and community. He has worked with a number of arts and cultural organizations/events both in Canada and in Japan, including The Canadian Opera Company, The National Ballet of Canada, and Tokyo Performing Arts Meeting. As Donor Relations Coordinator at the Foundation, he seeks to continue his work fostering connections between artists and community.
“Toronto Arts Foundation strengthens the relationship between artists, arts programs and Toronto residents. The Foundation is all about bringing communities together through the benefits of the arts. That really resonated with me. That is what brought me to the organization,” he says.
“I am looking forward to getting to know more about the arts community, and the Toronto community in general, through the activities of Toronto Arts Foundation.”