Creativity Classes

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Life’s experiences and challenges often turn our attention to exploring deeper aspects of ourselves. The creative arts can help us access our innate strength and internal wisdom. They can also be great fun!

Creativity Workshops offer the tools to help unlock innate creative potential and promote inner listening and self-awareness through writing, art, music, poetry, and movement.

Smith Center holds regular workshops for the community and for adults living with cancer and illness. Check this spot often to learn about and sign up for the latest scheduled events at Smith Center’s U Street location in Northwest, DC.

Stenciled Art

Upcoming Arts Workshops

Outside the Lines

Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays, 10:30am-12:30pm, with Kiersten Gallagher & Guests

Creative expression has often been used in the healing process and it is at the core of Smith Center’s philosophy, but fear of judgment and “not being an artist” can often prevent us from tapping into its healing power. Join us for Outside the Lines, where a facilitator will help you reclaim art-making as a healing tool through guided creative projects. Participants who feel comfortable working on their own projects are also welcome to do so.

The first session of the month will function as a “social hour,” as we are all in greater need of social connection these days. The second session of the month will focus on the deep connection between arts and healing and how we can relate to one another through creative expression. 

Knitting on the Couch

Weekly on Wednesdays, 3:00-4:30pm, with Project Knitwell

Join us weekly to enjoy knitting in a safe and welcoming environment. Knitting can provide a respite from one’s immediate situation, serve as a way to productively pass the time, and have a positive effect on reducing stress symptoms. It is relatively easy to learn, requires no artistic talent or prior experience, is portable, and results in a useful product. Sometimes referred to as the “new yoga” — plain and simple — knitting is good for you. In this program, trained volunteers will provide knitting instruction and quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among participants. Beginner and experienced knitters are welcome. Starter kits are available, as is a small selection of yarn and knitting supplies.

The Art of Doodling

Monthly on Thursdays, 5:30-7:00pm, with Liz Lescault

Doodling is spontaneous, uncensored drawing. Doodling helps us process our emotions, alleviate stress and develop new possibilities for creative expression.

These workshops will not just be about making art but about the different ways we experience art and how it affects us. We will integrate movement, art, and playful sharing into our art making experience.

Upcoming Book Club

Read with Smith Center

Bi-Monthly on Tuesdays, 12:00-1:00pm, with Carla Stillwagon, Erin Price, LICSW, and Kiersten Gallagher

Welcome to “Read with Smith Center,” a community of book lovers diving in to current and relevant book material.

Email programs@smithcenter.org to be added to the registration list and receive regular updates on book choices and page assignments. Or, join just for the vibrant conversation.

“This was a wonderful way to reconnect with my inner self and move forwards with my work in ways I hadn’t considered.” -Workshop Participant


Upcoming Writing Workshops

Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop

Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays, 6:30-8:00pm, with Charity Sade, Founder, Coping Through Comedy

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary. This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation.

“Very enjoyable, relaxing, creative time spent with friends from Smith Center.” -Workshop Participant


Upcoming Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery Workshops

Visit the Gallery website here

Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery

Artist-in-Residence Program

Exposure to the arts and creative expression can often bring forth a transformative healing affect. Our Artist-in-Residence program (AIR) engages patients and clinical staff in creative arts activities as part of the healing process through the visual arts, creative writing, storytelling, music, creative movement, and guided imagery.

Follow AIR on social media: 

Learn more about our Artist-in-Residence Programs at Inova Schar Cancer Institute and Walter Reed Military Medical Center here.

Meet Our Creativity Facilitators

Charity Sade

About Charity Sade

Charity Sade is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

About Denise Feldman

Denise Feldman is a local mixed media artist who discovered the power of creativity as a healing practice after her treatment for breast cancer in 2014. As a creative ‘dabbler’ who loves working with various materials and surfaces, Denise shares her altered book processes and soulful perspective with the hope of inspiring others to tell their stories ‘on the page’ and clear space for life’s chapters yet to come.

John Casey

About John Casey

John Casey works as a barber in Brooklyn, NY. This trade affords him the opportunity to meet and talk with many different people on a daily basis. Learning that many of his customers shared his interest in keeping a journal but didn’t know how to start or to maintain one, he decided to create a workshop that would allow him to share what he’d learned about this rewarding practice.

In his free time, John loves being in his car and is grateful for any opportunity he gets to drive through to the Hudson Valley where he grew up. He has a BFA in Painting and enjoys drawing, painting and visiting art museums. His favorite conversation topics are music, film and anything pertaining to behavioral psychology.

https://www.sustainablejournaling.com/

Julie McCarter

About Julie McCarter

Julie is a fine art photographer and therapist, offering workshops that blend her two worlds of creative expression and emotional wellness. She is based in the Greater Washington DC area. Her photographic work may be viewed at: http://juliefischermccarter.com

Contact email: jfm@juliefischermccarter.com

Kiersten Gallagher – Cancer Support Programs Director

About Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

Kunle Adewale

About Kunle Adewale

Kunle Adewale is an artist and a development practitioner by profession. He is a graduate of Fine and Applied Arts (Painting and Art History), from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. To hone his skills in leadership, he studied Civic Leadership at Tulane University, New Orleans. His penchant for utilizing arts within the healthcare system spurred him into participating in related professional courses such as: Arts in Health for Helping Professionals in Charlotte; Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida, United States, and Arts in Health Research Intensive, organised by Center for Arts in Medicine, University of Florida in collaboration with University College London.

Kunle did not stop there. In his quest for more knowledge in the field of Arts in Medicine, he also bagged certificates in: Understanding Dementia and Arts, from University College London (UCL) and, Medicine and The Arts: Humanising Healthcare, from University of Capetown, South Africa. He was one of the selected Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health at the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Currently, he is part of a 1-year training programme on Dementia. To reduce the scale and impact of dementia, the 1-year programme brings together a powerful mix of perspectives, approaches, and skill sets from varying backgrounds and disciplines, including neurologists, social scientists, artists, and policymakers. https://kunleadewale.com/

About Liz Lescault

Liz Lescault, a visual artist and sculptor, has practiced and taught art for over 40 years. Liz is Coordinator of the DC InterPlay Metro Region and is a member of the DC InterPlay Board. Liz leads Open Gathering days for InterPlay DC and organizes and leads workshops regionally and nationally.

Liz melds her art, teaching and personal philosophy with InterPlay wisdom, tools and forms.

Formerly, Liz, was a hotline crisis counselor, for various suicide prevention lifelines and The Trevor Project providing help for LGBTQ youth in crisis.

Liz also led InterPlay for elders with chronic illness and cognitive disabilities at Iona Senior Center up to the Covid shutdown and is looking forward to leading online programs for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. 

Contemporary Ceramic Art by Liz Lescault

Mindy Brodsky

About Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.

After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

About Project Knitwell

Project Knitwell offers knitting as a tool to promote wellness and help people cope with stressful situations at more than a dozen hospital and community settings.

All of Project Knitwell’s programming is provided by volunteers, and services and supplies are provided free of charge to the people we serve.

Rebecca Wilkinson

About Rebecca Wilkinson

Rebecca is a Registered and Board Certified art therapist with twenty years of experience in mental health and in facilitating training and workshops. She serves as adjunct faculty at George Washington University Graduate Art Therapy Program and provides continuing education and development through the Potomac Art Therapy Association. She facilitates supportive workshops for those affected by life-threatening illness and the professional providers working with them. She is a co-founder of Creative Wellbeing Workshops, LLC, which provides training, consultation, and clinical therapy designed to reduce stress, prevent burnout and increase life satisfaction and wellbeing.

Rick Black

About Rick Black

A poet, book artist and photographer, Rick Black is the founder and owner of Turtle Light Press, a small publishing company that specializes in handcrafted books, fine art prints and note cards.

In recent years, Rick has won several awards for his own poetry as well as books that he has published. He has given readings at the Library of Congress and elsewhere around the country. He often takes bike rides in the region and can be spotted taking photographs in and around Arlington, Falls Church, and Washington, D.C.

As he has gotten to know the area, he has begun turning his digital photos into artistic paintings – luminous, colorful and playful. His images have been selected to adorn the rooms of the Hilton Garden Inn in Falls Church. He has exhibited widely in the mid-Atlantic region and his work can be found in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

For close to twenty years, he worked as a journalist, including a three-year stint in the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times. He also has freelanced for numerous national newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and other publications.

To see more of Rick’s books or his artistic photographs, please visit his website: https://www.turtlelightpress.com/

Susi Wyss

About Susi Wyss

Susi Wyss is a public health professional, author, therapeutic writing facilitator and—most of all—a believer in the healing power of words. Her public health career has spanned more than 25 years, most of it addressing women’s health in Africa. She is the author of The Civilized World, a novel set in Africa that was named “A Book to Pick Up Now” by Oprah Magazine. In addition to her collaboration with the Smith Center, she has led writing-for-healing workshops at the DC Rape Crisis Center and at Crossings Healing & Wellness in Silver Spring.

About Theresa Walker

Theresa is a registered SoulCollage® facilitator and has led groups since 2011. She is a certified expressive arts facilitator, trained at Salve Regina University in writing and visual arts, and she is a graduate of Shalem’s Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups program. She finds that SoulCollage®, especially in a Group setting, offers participants a unique experience of playfulness, insight, and creativity.

Tina Lassiter

About Tina Scott Lassiter

Tina Scott Lassiter is an integrative healthcare professional/artist/author who infuses mindfulness/mind body practices with the arts to create workshops, retreats, and individualized sessions that help people live life more, live life well©, live better together through respectful coexistence, and live life anew via self-care. Creative & Therapeutic Arts Director at Children’s National in Washington, DC for 15 years, she developed then was invited to present the model “Caring for Caregivers in Medical Setting” at several Decision Health conferences which led to conducting a webinar for Ernest Health, followed by a feature interview for Joint Commission newsletter.  Tina has been creating and facilitating workshops for over 20 years; is certified in several mind body practices; is a Corporate Presenter for a mindfulness studio facilitating mindfulness meditation, yoga nidra, and other sessions; served as Adjunct faculty, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts; and her artwork/photographs have been featured in national publications. One of her personal mindful/art practices is featured on the online version of Spirituality & Health magazine (spirithealthmag.com). She completed the Arts in Medicine Intensive at the University of Florida Center for the Arts in Healthcare Research & Education, holds an MBA in Marketing from NYU’s Stern School of Business, and a BA in Communications with a minor in Social Work from Howard University.

Visit her artwork at http://www.tinascottlassiter.com; her words of inspiration can be found at http://www.theeclecticeye.blogspot.com. Follow her on Instagram @myeclecticeye.

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