Grand Opening Event!


- Saturday, September 24, 11am - 4pm - come by anytime!

You’re Invited! Please help us celebrate the opening of our expanded U Street Center!

Smith CenterJoin us to get a sneak peek at our new rooftop terrace, state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, courtyard, and increased program and gallery space. Come by anytime throughout the day for food, drinks, music, and sample programs and classes including:

  • Cooking demonstrations (and tastings) with talented chefs, nutritionists, and cooking coaches
  • An ongoing mandala creativity project in the Barbara Smith Room
  • Sample yoga classes on the Terrace

You'll also get to take in VESSEL, the current exhibit in the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery, enjoy food provided by Maple Avenue Market and Farm, and music by talented local musicians!

Schedule of Events

Ongoing Activities

  • Mandala Creativity Project with Barbara Black, Sally Brucker, and Rebecca Wilkinson (Barbara Smith Room)
  • Live Music (Rooftop Terrace)
  • "VESSEL" Exhibit, Raffle Giveaways, and Program Registration (Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery)

11am-12:15pm: Cooking Demo with Cindy Mann (Kitchen)

12:30-1pm: Opening Remarks and Welcome (Gallery)

  • Jane Hess Collins, Guest Host
  • Susan Braun, Board President
  • Shanti Norris, Executive Director

1-1:30pm: Chair Yoga with Corrin Bennett (Rooftop Terrace)

1:30-2:15pm: Cooking Demo with Juliette Tahar (Kitchen)

2:30-3:45pm: Cooking Demo with Laura Pole (Kitchen)

Directions, metro, and parking information.

This is a free event. Registration is not required. We can't wait to see you there!

Jane Hess Collins of Get out and Give BackSaturday's event will be hosted by Jane Hess Collins, local writer, philanthropist, and founder of Get Out and Give Back, LLC, which inspires people to “Connect. Contribute. Create a Legacy.”

Collins is a retired colonel, United States Air Force. Through her writing, speaking and coaching, she helps people give back to their communities and nonprofits that serve them. Her stories about charity and philanthropy have been published in Washington Life Magazine and I Am Modern, as well as her own website.

She created the “Get Out and Give Back” newspaper column that ran in newspapers in Virginia, Maryland and Ohio from 2005 – 2011. She is board member of Living Legends of Alexandria, a member of the ACT for Alexandria marketing and communication committee and is an accredited member of the International Coaching Federation.

Jane is a frequent guest speaker for various service organizations, selected as the commencement speaker for Bellefontaine (Ohio) Senior High School’s graduating class in June of 2009 and was one of three recipients of the school’s first “Distinguished Alumni” award.

Jane has appeared on NewsChannel 8’s Let’s Talk Live frequently to promote volunteering, and she hosts the “On the Go with AAUW (American Association of University Women” television show for Fairfax Public Access television. Her personal service-oriented passions are international volunteer work with children and she has traveled to Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and India with nonprofit organizations that offer international service vacations.