Artists in Residence Program

Co-created by

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts

and Life with Cancer at Inova Schar Cancer Center for Inova Health Systems

at the

Inova Schar Cancer Institute

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts and the Inova Life with Cancer program are pleased to announce the development of the Smith Center Artists in Residence Program as part of the Integrative Arts and Healing Program to be created for the new Inova Schar Cancer Institute scheduled to open in March 2019.

The Artists in Residence Program (AIR) will train and supervise local artists to work directly with patients, caregivers and clinicians to create opportunities for stress reduction, self-awareness and self-expression in the Institute’s outpatient infusion, radiation, and waiting areas.  The AIR Program is one component of a comprehensive integrative arts and healing program that will also include a permanent art collection and ongoing exhibitions, performing arts events, culinary arts and other workshops, as well as survivorship resources and wellness education for the public – all of which support the Institute’s core mission and philosophy to provide patient-centered care.

In collaboration with the Life with Cancer program at the Inova Schar Center for Inova Health Systems, Smith Center will recruit, train and supervise visual artists, storytellers, poets and writers, musicians, and dancers to inspire and make it possible for all who visit or work at the Institute to participate in arts-based activities.  The AIR Program reflects the belief that the creative spirit can be found in all of us and can be especially helpful when the human spirit is in need.

For over two decades, Smith Center has worked with professional artists to integrate their creative process as a tool and strategy to help others strengthen and sustain their healing process.  Smith Center artists in residence have described their work in cancer institutes and with patients and staff in other clinical settings as one of the most meaningful and rewarding experiences of their lives.  Patients and caregivers who participate often express great relief from pain and anxiety associated with their illness.  Most especially, they are grateful for the opportunity to discover and explore what they Can do, when otherwise feeling inhibited or confined by their current situation.

Through Smith Center’s partnership with the Inova Schar Life with Cancer Program, Smith Center artists will have access to clinical professionals, including registered arts therapists, to receive ongoing training and supervision as members of the unique team and culture comprising the Institute.

For more information or to apply to become an Artist in Residence at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, view our Application Guidelines or contact Scott Stoner at or (202) 483-8600.


Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is a nonprofit health, education, and arts organization in Washington DC.  Our mission is to develop and promote healing practices that explore physical, emotional, and mental resources that lead to life-affirming changes for people affected by cancer.  Our programs focus on cultivating each person’s innate ability to heal, helping participants explore meaning and maintain hope—even in the face of life’s challenges.  We welcome you to join us for programs, visit us at our U Street Center and Art Gallery, or contact us to learn more: 1632 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202) 483-8600,

Life with Cancer at Inova Schar Cancer Institute’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of those affected by cancer by providing education, information, and support.  This includes providing wellness and educational programs to cancer patients and their families both during and after treatment. Inova remains committed to Life with Cancer, ensuring this program delivers care to address the complex needs facing cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones.  Contact us to learn more about programs, services, and groups: 8411 Pennell Street, Fairfax, VA 22031 (703) 206-5433,