This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kiersten Gallagher

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: Social Hour, where we will catch up as we reclaim art-making as a healing tool. Participants who feel comfortable working on their own projects are also welcome to do so.


Outside the Lines is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • November 4 (Social Hour)
  • November 18
  • December 2 & 16

Suggested donation: $10 per class

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


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.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Niya Kight

This ongoing healing circle will focus on the unique needs of mothers, with children of any age, who are living with cancer. No matter where you find yourself on your journey you will have a chance to be with others who share in your experience. This shared experience will often lead to profound learning and healing.

Some of our children are bound to need us during this program. Please don’t worry about disruptions to care for your child(ren).


What is a Healing Circle?

Healing Circles bring together small numbers of people impacted by a condition or circumstance to share experiences and harvest collective wisdom.  Healing Circles is a peer-led process by which people support each other through deep listening and shared learning. When working at its best, this collaborative conversation model leads to authentic and deep connectivity and can create wisdom and healing for participants.

The Healing Circle for Moms with Cancer meets Monthly on Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30pm.

Upcoming Dates:

  • November 3
  • December 1

About Niya Kight

Niya Kight

Niya Kight was diagnosed with Stage II, ER/PR + Invasive Ductal Carcinoma in November 2019 on her 31st birthday, while 12 weeks pregnant. Once Niya reached the middle of her second trimester, she underwent a mastectomy and four rounds of chemotherapy before delivering her daughter in May. Niya is currently finishing the last four rounds of chemotherapy and next up on the road to recovery is radiation. When Niya embarked upon this journey, she chose to view it as her rebirth and shared that “she would rise healthier and stronger than ever after this spiritual transformation”. Niya has done just that as she focused inwardly to determine the changes she needed to make in her life, learned to accept help, and shared her vulnerability and experience with others. Niya is passionate about raising awareness about pregnancy and breast cancer because many people do not know that it is possible to have cancer while pregnant, let alone that it can actually be treated during pregnancy. Niya remembers the loneliness she felt while navigating breast cancer while pregnant and wants to help eliminate that additional stress for other women.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Yael Flusberg, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, RMT, MS

Enjoy a greater sense of well-being and enhanced energy in our gentle yoga classes. Learn various yoga postures, techniques in progressive relaxation, breathing practices, and meditation to help reduce stress, as well as balance mind, body, and spirit.

Our classes are specifically designed for adults facing stress, cancer, or other illness and are open to anyone interested in attending. All levels are welcome.

And, check out Yael’s contribution to CONNECT, Smith Center’s community-minded newsletter, called “Nurturing Resilience” on our YouTube channel!


Yael’s Gentle Yoga Class Meets Weekly on Tuesdays from 6:00pm – 7:15pm.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

In addition, our yoga classes are listed with the National MS Society and we welcome patients and caregivers of those with multiple sclerosis to our gentle yoga classes.

Our programs are also open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Yael Flusberg

Yael Flusberg Gentle Yoga Instructor Smith Center
Yael Flusberg first came to yoga hoping she could get rid of stuff, namely the ways life’s stresses and traumas had become painfully embodied. Fifteen years and thousands of layers of release later, yoga continues to teach her how to make strategic, creative, and life-nourishing choices. Trained as an integrative yoga therapist, Yael’s classes blend active with receptive states of being, and are both insightful and lighthearted. Off the mat, she is a coach, writer and energy therapist. Since 2005, Yael has taught yoga classes at area hospitals, libraries, workplaces, schools, and yoga studios. As an integrative yoga therapist (E-RYT500) she facilitates both group and individual yoga therapy sessions, working with people dealing with a variety of conditions including cancer, digestive disorders, diabetes, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, hypertension, mental health challenges (including depression, anxiety, grief and trauma), rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, and sports injuries. She currently teaches a weekly therapeutic class for people living with cancer and their caregivers on GW’s campus. More info: www.yaelflusberg.com

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. 
Who looks outside, dreams.
Who looks inside, awakens.
-Carl Jung

As you enter the final quarter of 2020, what do you want more of? What makes you feel most alive? When you think of inspiration, where does your mind go? Join us in a four-part workshop series to explore the theme of inspiration through the written word, within a supportive community. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices.

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on October 27th.

Program Dates:

  • October 27
  • November 3
  • November 10
  • November 17

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky is a master’s in social work candidate at Simmons University and is completing her advanced clinical placement at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. She 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.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Carla Stillwagon, Kiersten Gallagher & Erin Price

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

For our upcoming sessions, stay tuned for our book choice!


Read with Smith Center will meet Bi-Monthly on Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00pm.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • November 3 & 17
  • December 1 & 15

Choose “Smith Center for Healing and the Arts” as your nonprofit of choice when you shop through Amazon Smile!


About Carla Stillwagon

Carla serves as the Cancer Support Program & Retreat Coordinator at Smith Center. During her time at the center, Carla has been inspired to further develop her commitment to the arts and their invaluable role in healing and community. She is excited to share her favorite pastime, reading, in this group and hopes to hear all about your favorite things to read!

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.

About Erin Price, LICSW

Erin serves as Smith Center’s Director of Young Adult and Psychosocial Support Programs. She is trained in Integrative Patient Navigation, a Project LEAD graduate, and holds a Masters in Social Work. A seven-year breast cancer survivor, Erin is passionate about providing support and community to other cancer survivors, especially young adults. She works with Smith Center’s DC Young Adult Cancer Community and is also actively involved in the cancer community through Young Survival Coalition, Critical Mass, the Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates, National Breast Cancer Coalition, and the DC Cancer Action Partnership.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Beth Lawrence, RYT 500

Our chair yoga practice will connect body and mind. You are invited to relax deeply as we move through a series of gentle seated and supported poses that promote self-care.

All levels welcome.


Our Chair Yoga classes meet each Tuesday afternoon from 12:00 – 1:00pm.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Beth Lawrence

Beth discovered yoga in early 2002 as a mother of six month old twins. She was looking to get back into shape after their birth. In yoga, she found far more than she anticipated- an age old practice designed to help people relieve stress- both mental and physical. After a few years of regular practice, she knew she wanted to share her positive experiences with others. She has been leading yoga classes in the DC area since 2007 after completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training at Nth Degree Yoga with Martha Rosen. In 2011, she went back to earn her RYT500. Her personal practice is inspired by Integral Yoga and Sivananda Yoga, both of which incorporate body and mind into the practice.

Please click here to register for the 8-week program.

with Brandel France de Bravo

Empathy and compassion… there’s been a lot of talk lately about these two qualities. Who has them, who doesn’t, and the need for compassionate leadership. Months into the pandemic, physicians, nurses and other health professionals are complaining of burnout and compassion fatigue. Many of us, whether or not we’re front-line workers, worry that an empathy deficit is fueling our nation’s divide. Could teaching people how to tap into their innate powers of compassion be the answer? The Washington Post seems to think so; in January of this year, the newspaper published “In an Angry America, a New Remedy Emerges: Compassion.”

If you’re interested in learning more about compassion and starting or deepening a meditation practice, you might enjoy taking Compassion Cultivation Training©, a course developed at Stanford University over a decade ago.

Designed by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers,  Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is taught at Stanford’s Medical School and around the world by certified teachers. The 8-week (16 hours) course can strengthen your natural capacity for compassion, empathy and kindness—toward yourself and others—and increase resilience. Many who have taken the course say that it has given them a sense of balance and allowed them to live with greater joy and intention.

The class will meet every Monday on Zoom from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm for 8 weeks, beginning on October 19th. Class dates: October 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and December 7.

Each class builds upon the previous, but if you have to miss one class, that’s okay. CE credit will be given as long as you attend 7 of the 8 classes. Each week includes:

  • In-class guided meditations and online recordings for use at home

  • Group discussions and in-class exercises relevant to each week’s theme

  • Optional readings, videos, and practices for outside the classroom to enhance learning and support a daily meditation and compassion practice


14 credits are available to the following professionals:

Physicians Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Physician Assistants (ACCME) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Nurses American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Nurse Practitioners American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
Psychologists American Psychological Association (APA)
Case Managers Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC)
Physical Therapists (ACCME) AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Social Workers National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
General Participation Certificate Provided to other attendees not included above.

Cost to enroll:

Register by or on October 1, 2020 for the “Early Bird” price of $300 without CMEs/CEs or $400 with CMEs/CEs. Register between October 2 and October 15 and pay $375 without CMEs/CEs tuition and $475 with CMEs/CEs. 16 hours of class time for 14 credits.


About Brandel France de Bravo, MPH

Brandel France de Bravo holds a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and is a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She has two decades of experience researching and designing health interventions in the U.S. and abroad. She has run an HIV prevention program in Africa, designed harm reduction strategies for intravenous drug users in Central Asia, and developed materials to help cancer patients in the U.S. make informed decisions about their treatment. She is co-author of a parenting book influenced by the RIE philosophy of infant-toddler care and is a published poet and essayist. She studied Compassion Cultivation Training with founding faculty while a fellow at Stanford University and is honored to be a certified teacher of CCT.

http://www.brandelfrancedebravo.com/

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Carolina Mayorga

Artwork by Carolina Mayorga

Part 3: The Fundamentals of Drawing (November 2, 6:30-8:00pm)

This workshop based on Surrealism, will be an opportunity to learn about fundamental concepts of drawing and 2D media. Assignments will include observational drawing and experimentation with different materials and techniques that will expand your visual vocabulary and will help you discover your inner talents. Hope you join us!

Materials: 
  • Paper of any kind/size
  • Any kind of pen, pencil or marker
  • A few interesting objects that you would like to draw (the more detailed, intricate and textured, the better!)

Suggested Donation: $10

 

And, join us next week for Part 4: The Fundamentals of Sculpture (November 9, 6:30-8:00pm)

Visit www.joanhisaokagallery.com to view Aceptar: Una Exposición Colectiva


About Carolina Mayorga

Carolina Mayorga, Colombian-born and naturalized American citizen, has exhibited her work nationally and internationally for the last 20 years. Her work is part of national and international collections and has been reviewed in publications in North and South America and Europe. Mayorga’s artwork addresses issues of social and political content. Recent exhibitions in Washington, DC include her first museum show at the Art Museum of the Americas, a performance/interactive sculpture at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden among others.

The artist lives in Washington D.C. https://carolinamayorga.com/

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Julia Rowland, Ph.D.

This group, led by a licensed psychologist, is designed to provide cancer caregivers with the opportunity to meet other caregivers, learn about useful tools for self-care, and explore ways to thrive in the caregiving role.


Julia’s Caregiver Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00 – 7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • November 2 & 16
  • December 7 & 21

About Julia Rowland, PhD

Julia Rowland, PhD, who joined Smith Center in October 2017, comes to this position as a long-time clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors and their families, and published broadly in psycho-oncology, including co-editing, along with Dr. Jimmie Holland, the ground-breaking text, Handbook of Psychooncology.  She has also been a frequent speaker on cancer survivorship, or life after cancer, for both professional and lay audiences.

Julia received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in psychosocial oncology. While at MSKCC, where she held joint appointments in pediatrics and neurology, Julia helped to develop and was the first Director of the Post-Treatment Resource Program, one of the first non-medical survivorship care programs to be offered by a major cancer center in the U.S. In 1990 she moved with her husband and two young children to Washington, DC to become founding Director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center. There she helped expand services to meet the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and families, launched some of the first quality of life clinical trials, and also introduced a program to enable first year medical students to learn the art of caring for those living through and beyond cancer from survivors themselves and Lombardi faculty. Nine years later, in September of 1999, she was recruited to the National Cancer Institute to become the first, full-time Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, a position in which she served for 18 years, championing the growth of survivorship research and care, before stepping down in September 2017 to assume her new role at Smith Center. Although new to the team, Julia is no stranger to Smith Center. She knew Smith Center’s founder, Barbara Smith Coleman, and has volunteered her expertise across the years as a speaker, group leader and staff member for both the 1-day and weeklong residential retreats. Julia brings to her new role a passion to translate what research has taught us about healing in the context of cancer to the broader community, in essence, taking the science of survivorship from the lab bench to the park bench.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

This bi-monthly support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • November 2 & 16
  • December 7 & 21

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.