This class is now full. Please check back at a later date for a similar program.

with Chef Kara Garrett

Start out the new year on a healthy note! Learn tips to make weekly meal planning easier and together we will prepare simple make-ahead and easy-to-reheat meals for the week.

We will prepare 4 dishes together and you will take home individual portions of each to enjoy for your lunch or dinner. Please bring your preferred reusable storage containers. 

Menu items will include:

  • Zesty Veggie & Black Bean Enchiladas 
  • Vegan Homestyle Lasanga
  • Meditteranean Grain Bowl with Baked Falafel
  • Tuscan Vegetable Soup

When registering, please indicate any guest(s) that will be joining you, and if you have any food restrictions or allergies. All items will be vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. 

This class is limited to 10 participants. Be sure to sign up early!

Suggested Donation: $25


About Chef Kara Garrett

Kara Garrett Cancer Support Program Coordinator

Kara is a health-supportive chef based in Washington, DC. Following her breast cancer diagnosis in 2013, she embraced the challenge of finding a balance between her foodie lifestyle and eating well with cancer. She has adopted a flexible diet plan that focuses on plant-based, sustainable whole foods, but does not restrict indulgences of things she loves. She is passionate about working with others to encourage healthier food choices that energize the body and the soul.

Kara graduated in August 2017 from the Chef Training Program at Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC and spent one month as the sous chef at The Ananda Ashram Yoga Society of New York in Monroe, NY. She is currently enrolled in the Developing Healthy Communities: Nutrition, Behavior, and Physical Activity graduate program at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

with Harpreet Gujral, DNP, FNP-BC

We will discuss what self-compassion is and learn about it’s 3 elements. We will learn practice tools to cultivate self-compassion for our own healing and for loving others.

About Harpreet Gujral, DNP, FNP-BC

Harpreet Gujral DNP, FNP-BC is both a clinician and healthcare administrator who brings three decades of experience in various clinical areas. She helped with the launch of Johns Hopkins Sibley Integrative Medicine (SIM), both as the Program Director and Nurse Practitioner. She currently co-leads this program by directing and managing day-to-day operations of SIM and provides integrative medicine consultations. She is a Family Nurse practitioner and most recently served as Program Director and Nurse Practitioner at the Sibley Weight Loss Surgery department. She helped create and lead a successful multidisciplinary medical weight-loss program at a community hospital. Additionally, she has served as Senior Practice Advisor at the American Nurses Association.
She received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree focusing on Integrative Health and Healing track at University of Minnesota under mentorship of Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer. She has a deep interest and is well informed in modalities like Aromatherapy, Guided Imagery, including various Eastern modalities such as Ayurveda, Mindfulness, and Meditation that are enhanced by her roots in India. She deeply believes in one’s inner capacity to heal. Additionally, she has also completed Integrative Nurse Coach certificate program with Dr. Barbara Dossey and Susan Luck. She is currently enrolled in the 2-year Meditation Teacher Training with Drs. Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield.
Her interests include mindful eating, self-compassion, healthy cooking, mindful pausing, health coaching that brings together various aspects of integrative health. She enjoys uplifting and nurturing her colleagues using mindful pause, appreciation Qi Gong and the practice of gratitude. She loves to walk in the nature with her family and friends, engage in music and poetry.

With Laura Pole, RN, MSN, PCNS

Winter is a time for coming inside. . . huddling close together with family. . . also focusing on healing from within. Come see how the foods of Winter will warm you, replenish you, and help you create a body that is inhospitable to cancer. You will help Chef Laura prepare your meal and we’ll all sit down together to enjoy one of the greatest gifts of food – eating in good company!

Here’s what you’ll be creating: Moroccan Sweet Potato Lentil Soup; Citrus Kale Apple Salad; Millet Croquettes; Ginger Chocolate Custard. Is your mouth watering yet?

*Please Note: Every individual’s needs are unique. We aim to offer a variety of health-promoting options for each individual to consider, but do not prescribe the specific dietary content of any program for anyone.

Suggested donation: $25, includes a health-supportive meal and all recipes

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 Laura Pole

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, comes with a diverse educational background including a Masters degree in nursing, chef certification, and professional music training. For over 20 years, she has been merging her careers as a health supportive chef, professional musician, oncology clinical nurse specialist, and a palliative care educator. Laura serves Smith Center in several ways: Director of Nourishment Education Programs, Director of Professional Trainings in Culinary Translation and Co-Creator/Coordinator of Patient Navigation Trainings. Laura is also on faculty for the nationally acclaimed Cancer-Fighting Kitchen workshops.

There is a waitlist to attend this program. Please email or call (202) 483-8600 to be added!

with Jameson Freeman, founder of FABUM Inc. and Robert Lee, sound frequency specialist at Human Activation

The ‘moment-making’ non-profit FABUM presents a Sound Bath with Crystal Ashram for an enchanting evening of restoration and inspiration. Come enjoy this uniquely designed sound and meditation program, as we allow the ancient frequencies of Tibetan singing bowls to wash over us and nourish mind, body and spirit.

Suggested Donation: $0

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. All donations support future programming at Smith Center.

About Jameson Freeman 

photo credit: Thomas Wolff

Jameson is an advocate, artist, entrepreneur, yoga-meditation practitioner and student. He is founder of FABUM Inc., a nonprofit arts organization, and has helped develop two technology startups.

He has written, produced and directed several theatrical works and has performed in diverse productions and venues in Washington, DC, New York City and Philadelphia. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Arts Club of Washington, where he chairs the organization’s Drama and Programs Committees.

Inspired by BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as part of the CETAB (Cleaner Environment Through Accountability in Bankruptcy) advocacy campaign, he lobbied Congress in 2010 to amend the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to prevent corporate environmental clean up costs (such as from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill) being passed on to U.S. tax payers.

He launched and stewards the Diplomats of Dance Society, which supports the cultural diplomacy of the internationally acclaimed Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company. A classical ballet dancer growing up, Jameson and his husband, choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess, established a fund to nurture dance education at the University of New Mexico.

Jameson offers a free weekly restorative yoga class, as well as other meditation and awareness practice (from nature baths to events with Tibetan singing bowls) in the Washington, DC metro area.

He holds a 300-hour yoga teacher certification from the Swami Krishnananda Yoga Vidyapeeth Ashram in Mysore, India, and studied under Dr. Ashutosh Agarwal, disciple of Swami Krishnananda Saraswati, as well as under Hatha Yoga teacher and gold medalist Yogacharya Kadambari CP. He is currently enrolled in a two-year Karuna Training certification, a contemplative psychology program led by Archaya Melissa Moore, PhD., student of Chögyam Trungpa, Buddhist meditation master and founder of the Vajradhatu and Naropa University, as well as the Shambhala Training Method.

with Priya Shamsundar, NP

Please join us for an engaging presentation that reviews palliative care medicine as a medical specialty that improves quality of life and helps to relieve symptoms at home for people of any age, at any stage of an advanced illness, whether that illness is curable, chronic, or life limiting. The underlying premise of this discussion is supported by the belief there should be a holistic and spiritual infusion with approach to conventional medicine.

About Priya Shamsundar

Priya Shamsundar is a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner that works with Capital Caring. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Stony Brook University and her Master’s degree from Pace University in 2013. Her specialties include Urology, Pain Management and of course Palliative Care. Her aim as a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner is to provide holistic care with a collaborative approach to patients with chronic and long term illnesses such as cancer and end stage illnesses. She is well versed in initiating discussions that address advance care planning and insight to questions that may arise when dealing with any chronic or long term prognosis. She currently cares for patients in the community of the District of Columbia and is one of the only Palliative Care providers that makes home visits. She continues to show commitment to her patients with hopes that her expertise will ease the journey and anxieties that comes along with managing a chronic or life impacting illness.

The Healing Arts Series

Purchase tickets below.

In Flow: A Moving Meditation by Donne Lewis

Friday, November 15th at 7:30pm

Meet three enchanting women who are powerful solo performers in their own rights – sand dancer Donne Lewis, aka the Wychdokta, interdisciplinary artist and healer Artis Moon (the Boundless Eclectic), and producer/singer/songwriter Tamara Wellons, all artists who are deeply rooted in the American tradition of Jazz & improvisation with an eclectic mix of other influences. There is a synergy between them that feels like they are reaching into infinity.

You will experience meditative vibes from Artis Moon with anything from wooden flute and metallophone to crystal bowls and drums, the magic of the Wychdokta with percussive sand dance, movement, and energy healing (Reiki), and the scintillating vocals of Tamara Wellons.

To achieve the integration of Mind, Body, and Soul is to arrive at, or be within, the state of “Flow.”  Movement has always been how I tap into my spirit, to have peace, and its partner, euphoria.  A tap dancer for the past 20 years, I’ve spent the last five years nurturing and developing my concept of barefoot percussive dance, using sand on wood (Sand dancing). The incorporation of modern, contemporary and African movement came two years ago.  The final piece is my journey to mastery of Reiki healing. I am working to physically represent the symbols, to literally embody them, in order to simultaneously share with audiences both my artistry, my rhythms, and the healing energy of Reiki.

In Flow is designed to bring together all the parts of myself, Mind, Body, and Soul, for personal and group healing. I, along with my collaborators, Artis Moon and Tamara Wellons, will represent each concept. Tamara – the Mind, Artis – the Soul, and myself as the Body.

A bath of sound will be created to aurally stimulate the senses. The audience will be witness to a literal flight across the sand, and a gathering of light, air, and sonic vibrations, to arrive back in their bodies, awash in the experience of healing energy.

This event has been cancelled. Please check back for future events featuring Chef Gérard at Smith Center.

with Gérard Pangaud

Learn how to prepare a balanced and healthful menu using seasonal ingredients and enjoy a meal prepared for you by 3-Michelin star Chef Gérard Pangaud.

Menu items:

  • Butternut and celeriac soup
  • Cod with a marmalade of endives and citrus
  • Chocolate temptation

*Class is limited; please RSVP right away!

About Gérard Pangaud

A Brilliant Career

It’s no surprise that Gérard Pangaud excels in the art of cooking. Born in the suburbs of Paris, he grew up in a family where both his parents were very good cooks and appreciated fine dining.

After finishing high school, Gérard attended the Ecole Hoteliere of Paris, earning his Brevet of Technician and his Brevet of Technician Superior. Through the School of Restaurant and Hotel Administration at Cornell University, he also earned the equivalent of a US baccalaureate of science degree in hotel and restaurant management.

During his externship he worked for the five-star Royale Hotel in Deauville, at the Modern Hotel in St Jean de Luz, and at the three-star Grand Hotel in Paris. Afterwards, he worked for Master Chef Jo Rostang at La Bonne Auberge in Antibes, a three-star Michelin restaurant, and then at Troisgros in Roanne, also a three-star Michelin restaurant.

Gérard’s first position as Chef took place in Konstanz am Bodensee, Germany, at a fine French restaurant called Sankt Stefanskelle. He subsequently returned to Paris to become Chef at la Barriere de Vaugirard, one of three Barriere restaurants, the others being the Barriere de Clichy with Chef Guy Savoy and the other, Barriere Poquelin with Chef Bernard Loiseau.

Soon after, he opened Rue Montmartre, a small Parisian restaurant located next to the stock exchange. Within his first year of operation, he and the restaurant were awarded one Michelin star. In 1980, he moved his restaurant, renamed Gérard Pangaud, to Boulogne. Within a few months, he received two Michelin stars.

Not quite 28 years old, he was the youngest chef to be awarded two Michelin stars. In 1982, he was chosen by President Mitterand as Chef of the G-7 Conference held at Versailles, hosting such dignitaries as President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

Gérard moved to America in 1985. With the title of Executive Chef, he opened Aurora, an acclaimed New York restaurant designed by Milton Glaser. Under his guidance, the New York Times awarded the restaurant three stars and ranked it as one of New York’s top ten dining establishments.

Gérard is best known in the DC area for his innovative, yet elegant French cuisine, first at the Ritz-Carlton, then in his own restaurant – Gérard’s Place. Acclaimed since its opening in 1993, Gérard’s Place was consistently one of the highest rated restaurants, not only in Washington DC, but in the country, earning high praise from critics, congressmen, rock stars, heads of state, and movie stars alike.

For the last two years, and before becoming the Culinary Director for La Pasta, Gérard served as the Director of the Culinary Program at L’Academie de Cuisine, one of the top ten professional cooking schools in the country.

For five years, Gerard has worked as the corporate chef for Marriott International and Ritz-Carlton at Marriott HQ in Bethesda.

Gérard’s other interests include painting, traveling and working out. He is an avid golfer.


  • 3 Michelin stars
  • 4 stars NY Times
  • 4 stars Washington Post
  • 4 stars Washington Magazine
  • Maitre Cuisinier de France
  • CMC
  • James Beard Award


During this session, you will learn basic swing dance during a one hour lesson, followed by one hour of dance and fun! Friends and partners welcome.

About Catherine Butterworth

Catherine Butterworth, a DC renowned instructor is a professional dance instructor who has been teaching for over 10 years. She is also a member of the National Dance Council of America and a competitor in the latin dances.

This event has been postponed until the Spring 2020 season. Please check back for new dates in the spring!

Participants are expected to attend both classes, beginning on Saturday, October 26th. Please click here to register for this series.

with Kay Chernush

A 2-day photography immersion designed to help participants see with new eyes and in new ways, and to improve their picture-taking skills.
The course is designed for people living with cancer and facing the chaos, uncertainty and fear that that disease or any life-threatening disease brings. Armed with cameras, participants will begin a process of learning “how to see,” gaining new understandings of themselves and the possibilities around them. The workshop will help you discover your “inner eye,” tap into your own creativity and to look at things from different perspectives. Subjects for discussion, reflection and shooting might include:
• Point of View
• Facing Another
• Stop Action, Pan and Blur
• Shallow and Deep
• Shadows and Reflections
• Beauty and the Unbeautiful

Participants are asked to bring their own lunches. Digital point-and-shoot camera will be provided if you do not have one.

About Kay Chernush

Kay Chernush is an award-winning photographer with more than 30 years experience in commercial and fine art photography.  Based in the Washington, DC area, her assignments have taken her all over the world   for major magazines, Fortune 500 corporations, and both nonprofit and governmental agencies. Her fine art work includes an exploration of prejudice and empathy, “The Us & The They,” and a series of self-portraits entitled “Self-Examination,” a meditation in words and images of her experience with breast cancer.

Kay earned a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to India. Prior to becoming a professional photographer, she worked for the New Yorker Magazine, the New York Times Paris bureau, the Peace Corps and the US Agency for International Development.  It was while on an assignment for the Peace Corps in West Africa that she fell in love with photography.  Self-taught, she considers her career an on-going process of learning how to see.

In 2005 an assignment for the U.S. State Department brought her face to face with the evils of human trafficking and modern slavery. Challenged and appalled by this gross human rights atrocity, Kay began working with individual survivors and anti-trafficking organizations in cities around the world. The innovative approach she developed uses collaged and constructed imagery to dignify trafficked persons and re-frame how their stories are portrayed.

Kay founded ArtWorks for Freedom in July 2011. A unique non-profit organization that uses the power of art in the fight against human trafficking, ArtWorks for Freedom builds awareness, amplifies the voices of survivors, and inspires anti-trafficking activism against this worldwide crime against humanity.

Her fine art work is included in the permanent collections of the World Bank, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the National Institutes of Health, private collections both in this country and abroad, and has been exhibited widely in solo and juried group shows.

Kay’s images can be viewed at and


Click here to visit the Joan Hisaoka Gallery website.

Mind | BODY | Soul

Healing the Outside from Within

A Group Exhibition

Curated by Lindsey Yancich and Meg Mowery

October 1 – December 21, 2019

Curator & Artist Talk: Saturday, October 19, 1:00-3:00pm

Join the artists and curators of Mind, BODY, Soul for a look into their creative and individual perspectives!

In today’s fast-paced world of technology, social media, and a volatile political climate, American society’s opinions regarding body image are constantly evolving and oftentimes treacherous to navigate. Through platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, a younger generation (that’s YOU!) is now dictating and interrogating their own ideals of beauty and body positivity. In this group exhibition, this new generation of artists and thinkers explore concepts of the body as a catalyst for healing and acceptance.