A Panel Discussion, Featuring: SAM FELDMAN and FRED SPERO of the NATIONAL WIDOWERS ORGANIZATION Moderated by Shanti Norris

SATURDAY JUNE 18th, 3:30 - 5:30 pm

Please join us at the Gallery for an insightful dialogue about overcoming loss, working with grief and moving forward.

SAM FELDMAN, who lost his wife of 53 years to cancer, found himself reluctant to share his innermost feelings of sadness in mixed gender bereavement groups, and discovering many other widowers feel the same, he started a men-only group on Martha’s Vineyard. When he further researched, he found that there is a paucity of men’s groups focusing on bereavement and, drawing on his many years as an entrepreneur, established the National Widowers’ Organization, with a strong board of directors and some start-up funding. By 2011 it became clear a national effort focusing on the needs of widowers was critical to help men and was the basis for starting the NWO.

The National Widowers’ Organization educates the public about the special needs of men who have lost their spouse or life partner. This is done by promoting the development of support groups for men to manage their grief and adjust to a new life and by advocating for research into mens unique needs to deal with grief and spousal loss. It is the mission of the NWO is to make appropriate groups available nationwide to all widowers that seek support.

This discussion is in connection with the exhibition, GRETCHEN FELDMAN: The Healing Studio. This show is the 1st annual exhibition that will focus on an artist or artists' visual response to living life with cancer. Smith Center is the only independent cancer support organization serving the population of DC. The mission of the gallery is to raise awareness of the power of the arts in our life to explore the innate connection between art and healing.