I was recently invited to a soiree with the Emerging Arts
Professional Network (EAP.) EAP Connects is an event that operates in
partnership with our neighbours, the Centre for Social Innovation.
They provide positive space for networking, creativity and social
interaction between members of the Toronto art scene and their community
partners. This was an exciting event for me because it provided an
opportunity to exchange ideas and interact with top designers and
creative minds outside the office.
Each EAP Connects event has a unique theme to attract new people and a
broader audience: this event featured interactive art installations as
well as “a special focus on creative business, innovations and out of
the box thinking.” We really enjoyed the chance to talk shop with other
creative professionals. This was an especially valuable event because
we had a chance to learn about some of the new innovations in the world
of design, and how we might be able to implement them in our own work.
Even ideas that don’t quite fit with our business get us thinking in new
directions, or discovering creative ways to change our working
The woman behind the event is Ella Cooper, an artist and community
manager who decided to fill a gap in the networking world, and decided
to create the collective with the support of the Ontario Arts
Council. Establishing open communication is her main goal and she
encourages partygoers to ignore their friends, play icebreakers and
actually meet everyone in the room. This mentality encourages
collaborative connections that may not happen otherwise. This,
along with complementary delectables and spirits made for awesome energy
in the room.
Some highlights of the evening included special guest Laraaji—an New
York electronic musician, mystic and “laughter yoga instructor”—who
played the zither and also led a live laughter demo and talk on the
medically documented health benefits of channeled chuckling. He cited
free association as his method of creativity, and stressed the
importance of play in both personal and professional life. He
added that “play is the spontaneous exploration of sensation,” something
to remember when struggling with inspiration in the future. Local
artist Rachel Ellison also invited attendees to create art together by
painting a communal canvas called “We Paint” for 90 seconds each.
Ultimately, the evening was a lot of fun and a venue for us to
connect with new friends, artists and also it served to renew our
creative energies. Look out for some new and exciting directions
in our work. To learn more about the EAP or to plug into their events
you can visit www.eapnetwork.ca