How to Show Gratitude and Thanks Through your Art

To commemorate Thanksgiving Day, this post highlights the different ways you can show your thanks through your art. This post was also inspired by my summer at the University of Michigan and the wonderful Brent Wagner who continuously drove this very important message into me.

You’ve finished a show or a service event and you want to show your thanks to the coordinators or directors. What can you do? Your best first move would be to handwrite a personalized thank you letter to express your love for the experience they have granted you

Why do this?

  • Because If someone takes the time out of their day to go above the expectations of your relationship with them to better your life, then thanking them for doing so is a must
  • Because it will help them remember you as a person they would like to work with again. A person who is kind, giving, and thoughtful all the qualities people look for in someone to trust and give opportunities to.

Professor Brent Wagner, previous chair of the Department of Musical Theatre for 32 years and is credited with building the department into one of the top musical theatre programs in the world, lectured me and 39 other students this past summer on the importance of gratitude. This message about equivalent exchange and expressing thanks when someone goes above and beyond echoes volumes and is a perfect example of how service works. When you perform an act of service, you are giving someone else a part of you you didn’t have to give. You didn’t have to sing this song at a benefit concert, or perform at this Improvisation Jam to raise money for Broadway Cares, or speak out against faulty government policy at a Students Demand Action “Life Over Bullets” event. But you did anyways. It is this giving that ultimately will give your life more meaning and value in return. Sure, you aren’t necessarily receiving any material object for doing this like a thank-you letter, instead you are enriching your life in the best ways you possibly could. So I thank Professor Wagner for instilling this message into me, and I hope I can carry on the message to you as well.

Confused about Thank you letters? Here is a step-by-step guide to know if you should or should not write one:

  • Did this person go above and beyond the expectations of the relationship you have with them?
  • Is your writing sincere and from a truthful place?
  • Do you understand the original expectations of the relationship from an objective perspective?
  • If you answered yes to all of these questions, you are ready to write your thank you letter
  • Now write your letter from a heart-felt, and loving place so that the recipient knows you meant every word you said and you are truly thankful for whatever they did to better your life or experience

Next week, I’ll be posting about a service opportunity that occurs several times a year called “Cantando Por La Vida” This event is coordinated by Rosa and Eduardo Fernandez, two musicians here in South Florida, and it entails a benefit showcase with the hopes of raising money for St. Jude,
A leading children’s hospital that treats the toughest childhood cancers and pediatric diseases. With supporters like the Belen Jesuit jazz band, various Dance companies, and the Roxy Theatre Company, they inspire students to perform and raise money for kids just like them. Although these companies and groups come every year, it is also encouraged that others come and share their art, so I will be going over the steps for participating and when the next event might be. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the people that you cherish the most.

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