Call for Artists, Musicians, Poets, Storytellers

Artists in Residence Program


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 Arts and Integrative Healing Program to be created for the new Inova Schar Cancer Institute scheduled to open in March 2019 in Fairfax, VA.

As an expansion of the already existing Life with Cancer counseling, education and wellness programs, 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 arts and integrative healing program at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute 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.

Smith Center, in collaboration with Life with Cancer, will recruit, train and supervise visual artists, storytellers, poets and writers, musicians, and dancers to inspire and encourage all those who visit or work at the ISCI to participate in arts-based activities. Through Smith Center’s partnership with the Inova Life with Cancer Program and Inova Schar Cancer Institute, Smith Center artists will have oversight by clinical professionals, including licensed therapists and registered arts therapists, to receive ongoing training and supervision as members of the unique team and culture comprising the Institute.

Interested artists should: 

1. Submit an application to Smith Center – the online AIR Application Guidelines can be found at HERE or contact Scott Stoner (202) 483-8600.

2. Plan to attend an AIR Orientation Session (9:30-11:30am) on one of the following dates: Thursday, September 27 , Saturday, October 6,  Friday, October 19 or Saturday, October 20. [Applicants will be notified of location for the orientation sessions.]

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.


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.

Inova Life with Cancer’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 (of all ages) 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.

Inova Schar Cancer Institute is an international center for advanced cancer care and research. Collaborating with clinical and scientific partners, we conduct genomic and translational research to better understand, predict, prevent, and eliminate cancer. Our personalized health approach enables us to create individualized treatments and preventive analytics to predict illness for every unique individual and family we provide care.