Pacific Symphony’s arts-X-press program, an arts immersion summer program for middle school students [focused on creative risk taking, individual exploration and community building], continues remotely this fall. The arts-X-press remote program which launched this summer, AXP@Home, presented its alumni workshop series last week with the “Attitude of Gratitude” workshop, a Thanksgiving-themed afternoon that focused on the spirit of appreciation.
Pacific Symphony’s arts-X-press program, an arts immersion summer program for middle school students, continues this fall. The arts-X-press remote program which launched this summer, AXP@Home, presented its alumni workshop series last week with the “Attitude of Gratitude” workshop, a Thanksgiving-themed afternoon that focused on the spirit of appreciation.
Arts-X-press creative expression instructor, Mohammad Jaffrey, led our group. No stranger to giving back, Mohammad has been named Disneyland’s volunteer of the year and attended arts-X-press as a student. He explained how gratitude can be viewed as a muscle. “The more you do it, the easier it becomes to practice and express to other people. Gratitude can help people feel valued, and it’s always feels nice to be appreciated.”
In a time when our lives are “especially inundated with screens, it’s important to come back to yourself,” Jaffrey emphasized. This can also foster healthy social habits regarding screen-time limitations, as “it is important to express and show gratitude for our loved ones by being present with them rather than be distracted by technology.”
Students then created their very own “gratitude jars.” Jaffrey encouraged students to keep these jars and fill them with various notes and items that echo moments of thanks or random acts of kindness in their lives.
Whether it’s the special people in our lives or the little things that keep us going every day—from music and books to the fresh smell of hot chocolate and the oxygen from trees that allows us to breathe—students took this time to consider the positive things in their lives. Mohammad empowered students to write and send letters to two important people that they’re thankful for, whether it be family members, friends, or teachers.
The Attitude of Gratitude workshop served as a perfect introspective moment to pause and reflect. It was riveting to see the students’’passions and personalities come forth even more as we continue to strengthen the bond within this amazing arts-X-press community. Instructor Jaffrey encouraged us all to see gratitude as an active and ongoing practice—something we can all collectively take part in to make the world a more inclusive and thankful place.
It’s easy to sometimes get lost in the negativity that 2020 continues to project, but stopping and recognizing the positivity in our lives can surely make a difference in how we can adapt and learn to tackle any new challenges.
We hope that each one of our students enjoyed this exercise in gratitude and will join us again for our next workshop in the AXP@Home Alumni Workshop series—Holiday Diversity Celebration—a winter-holiday-themed workshop taking place on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
Please stay tuned to @artsXpress on Instagram and Facebook for updates on registration, news, and content!