This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Susi Wyss

Writing for Healing

Led by a therapeutic writing facilitator, this session is designed for self-care and taking time out to tap into the healing benefits of writing. Join us for a session that includes a brief meditation, writing prompts, and creative exercises in a playful and supportive environment. No writing experience necessary, just an open mind!

 

Suggested Materials: 

  • 2 sheets plain unlined paper
  • favorite writing pen 
  • Art/drawing material such as oil pastels, colored markers, pastels, colored pencils or crayons
  • Pair of scissors
  • scotch tape

Suggested Donation: $10


About Susi Wyss

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, mostly 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 Crossings Healing & Wellness.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Project Knitwell and Friends

Knitting Circle on the Couch

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.

 

Knitting is:

  • relatively easy to learn,
  • requires no artistic talent or prior experience,
  • portable,
  • and results in a useful product.

Sometimes referred to as the “new yoga” — plain and simple — knitting is good for you.

 

Trained volunteers will provide knitting instruction and quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community. Beginner and experienced knitters are welcome. Starter kits are available, as is a small selection of yarn and knitting supplies.

 

Stone Soup Films and Project Knitwell created a beautiful 3-minute video highlighting the health benefits of knitting. Watch the video here!


Our Knitting Circle meets Weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 4:30pm ET.

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.


Looking for more intimate knitting instruction? Check out Project Knitwell’s new program, Knitwell in the Cloud, for ongoing, one-on-one knitting instruction via Zoom.


About Project Knitwell

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.

Project Knitwell volunteers provide knitting instruction and quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among those we serve.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Ruth Milante

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.

For this session, Ruth Milante will host her beloved “Tiny Stories”

Tiny Stories

Do you have a grand art plan with little time or skill to execute it?

A memory yearning to be expressed in both words and pictures?

Tiny Stories are a quick way to jumpstart your ideas without a big commitment.

All you need are 4-6 panels and your favorite drawing tools. We’ve attached a printable page but index cards, or any Comic Strip Template will do. You don’t need to be a professional writer or artist to tell a Tiny Story!

Materials:

Writing & Drawing Materials of Your Choice

Comic Strip Template (Click Here for Ours)

 

June 2021 Tiny Stories


Outside the Lines is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:00pm. The Social Hour sessions will only run from 10:30-11:30am. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • December 21
  • January 18
  • February 15

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.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

Early Stage Cancer Caregiver Support Group

There are over 2.8 million cancer caregivers in the US, most of them caring for someone with early stage disease. Are you one of them?
In this group you will learn tips and techniques for caring for your loved one/partner/friend while also taking good care of yourself.
Also, you will learn that you are not alone in your caregiving role, and that caring in community can make a difference to your own and your care recipient’s health.

Beginning August 22, The Early Stage Cancer Caregiver Support Group will meet Monthly on the 3rd Monday from 11:00am-12:00pm EST.

Upcoming Dates: 
  • December 19

About Julia Rowland, PhD

Julia Rowland

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, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing olivia@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with artist & sculptor Liz Lescault

Doodling: Mandalas and Sacred Geometry

In December we will play with mandalas and the notion of sacred geometry. We will approach doodling as a meditative process and a way of fostering a contemplative frame of mind.

In future Art Lab sessions we will play with a variety of media and genres including: doodling, drawing, collage, assemblage, and water color.

Art Lab will be about making art as well as the different ways we experience art and how it affects us. We will explore both the process and the product of the art we create. We will integrate movement and playful sharing into our art making experience sharing insights, joys and concerns.

These hands-on workshops are for both novices and experienced artists.  You are invited to come to one, some or all of the workshops as the spirit moves you. All are welcome.

Suggested Materials*:

*any materials and supplies you may already have will work just as well for this project; the materials suggested below are just some of my favorites.


Art Lab will be offered monthly on Thursdays from 5:30 – 7:00pm ET.

Participants are encouraged to drop-in for any session – new themes and projects will be introduced each month.

This hands-on workshop series is for novices and experienced artists.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • December 15
  • January 26
  • February 23

Suggested Donation: $15


About Liz Lescault

Liz Lescault

Liz Lescault, a visual artist and sculptor, has practiced and taught art for over 40 years. Liz is also a Coordinator of the DC InterPlay Metro Region, a certified InterPlay leader and a member of the DC InterPlay Board. She leads Open Gathering days for InterPlay DC and organizes and leads workshops regionally and nationally online and in person. Liz has been leading Art Lab both for Smith Center for the Healing Arts, for the Phillips Collection and for InterPlay internationally.

Formerly, Liz, was a hotline crisis counselor, for various suicide prevention lifelines and The Trevor Project providing help for LGBTQ youth in crisis and the Prince Georges County Homeless Hotline.

Liz has also led InterPlay for elders with chronic illness and cognitive disabilities at Iona Senior Center in Washington DC.

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

B.S., Psychology, Drew University, Madison, NJ

M.Ed., University of Massachusetts at Amherst, British Techniques of Open Education

Studied watercolor at WICE, an international educational and cultural association in Paris, France

https://www.lizlescault.com/home

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered to cancer patients/survivors and their caregivers/family members. 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.


Coping Through Comedy: Comedy Writing Workshop will be held on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00pm ET. 

Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • December 14

About Charity Sade

Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ 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.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Project Knitwell and Friends

Knitting Circle on the Couch

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.

 

Knitting is:

  • relatively easy to learn,
  • requires no artistic talent or prior experience,
  • portable,
  • and results in a useful product.

Sometimes referred to as the “new yoga” — plain and simple — knitting is good for you.

 

Trained volunteers will provide knitting instruction and quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community. Beginner and experienced knitters are welcome. Starter kits are available, as is a small selection of yarn and knitting supplies.

 

Stone Soup Films and Project Knitwell created a beautiful 3-minute video highlighting the health benefits of knitting. Watch the video here!


Our Knitting Circle meets Weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 4:30pm ET.

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.


Looking for more intimate knitting instruction? Check out Project Knitwell’s new program, Knitwell in the Cloud, for ongoing, one-on-one knitting instruction via Zoom.


About Project Knitwell

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.

Project Knitwell volunteers provide knitting instruction and quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among those we serve.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Simone Banks Mackey (They/Them/Theirs)

 

Using modern and ancient techniques of developing symbols allows your imagination to wonder and form a personal affirmation sigil. A Sigil, in a greater sense, is a symbol that represents a meaning. Where they differ is how/why we create them. This process is not only therapeutic but extremely individualized. Each sigil contains specific messaging that is meant to empower you. Using meditation, herbal teas, movement, food, music, and/or scents, we intentionally create an environment that empowers us to imbue our intentions into our sigil fully. A process that can result in the simplest of shapes to the most elaborate of forms.

After your affirmation sigil is created it is charged with your energy and can be used whenever you need to affirm your power. Whether that be on your hallway mirror, daily bag, passenger dashboard, clothes/shoes, or even yourself its intention will hold.

December theme: Faith-based self-love

 

Suggested Materials: 

  • Writing utensils (pens, markers, paint, etc.)
  • Canvas (paper, book, hat, guitar, etc.)
  • Water (for drinking)
  • Set your “empowerment mood” (clothing, food, scents, lighting, etc.)

Suggested Donation: $10


About Simone Banks Mackey

Since childhood, Simone Banks Mackey (They/Them/Theirs) has always been an eccentric being that had an insatiable passion for life and helping others. After attending undergraduate school to study multiple Studio Arts disciplines and nonprofit management they decided to continue community-centered work. Teaching preschool offered Simone the opportunity to creatively expose children to multiple forms of art. However, they realized the magnitude of how structural stability within the home affects both parents’ mental/emotional/physical wellbeing and the children’s cognitive development. Simone then decided to work with grassroots organization that provided families with tools to be self-sufficient. It was during this time Eccentric Whims was born. While creating and hosting programming to artistically teach parents and children, Simone realized how they could combine their passion for art with community uplifting. Eccentric Whims catapults love and healing into the world by using a multitude of traditional and nontraditional art forms to foster creative thinking and promote healing/wellness while building community. Through carefully crafted community events surrounding any range and of non/traditional art forms such as mixed media collages, decor/crafts, visual media, and movement Simone creates safe spaces for people to express themselves and/or learn. Art is universal and through Art, we can communicate, commune, and create a greater society.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Denise Feldman

Stitching Together

Stitched Together

We’re all part of the same cloth…

Join us for a Stitching Circle! Denise Feldman, a local mixed-media artist and cancer thriver, hosts this monthly gathering in (virtual) community as we talk and stitch—a powerful meditative and healing practice. Gathering as many have done for centuries, Denise will share tips and ideas for using needle and thread to bring joy and creativity to our everyday lives. Use her ideas to jump start your own, or bring your favorite hand work projects and join us for community stitching time!

 

This community stitching circle is for you! For example, maybe you’ve been hand sewing for years; you might be interested in exploring the recent revival of the “slow-stitch” movement; maybe you are are a needle pointer with a project to finish. Or, you might simply enjoy the meditative nature of hand making with needle and thread.

 

You may consider bringing:

  • needles and thread,
  • an old pair of jeans or other clothing that was headed to charity,
  • left over fabric from another project,
  • or simply bring yourself for some (virtual) time in community.

Stitched Together will be offered Monthly on Saturdays 10:00 – 11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates: 

  • December 10
  • 2023 sessions TBD

Suggested Donation: $10


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 mixed media processes and soulful perspective with the hope of inspiring others to tell their stories ‘on and off the page’ and clear space for life’s chapters yet to come.

“My philosophy is simply that telling our stories helps us heal by giving us the space to process our own experiences and connect with each other. Getting our stories out from our hearts and our heads helps make room for the next chapter to happen…the one just waiting there in the wings.” ~Denise

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing programs@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

Radical Writing Space

Wherever you are on life’s journey, there are times when it can feel impossible to commit to a recurring program like a workshop series. Radical Writing Space is our answer to this conundrum of wanting to attend for some radical self-care, but struggling to commit.

 

Clinical studies have documented the healing psychological and psychical impacts of writing within a safe and sacred space. On the second Friday of each month, drop in for one hour for Radical Writing Space and join us for inspiring writing prompts, time to write, and time to share with one another about your experience of putting your most radical emotions, feelings, and experiences on paper.

 

The part that makes this writing so “radical” is that we create a safe space for it all — raw feelings, emotions, experiences — and, together, we give voice to them in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment.

 

This healing program offers a place for supporting one another and we stay clear of writing critique. Come and experience writing and sharing together.


Radical Writing Space will be hosted Monthly on the 2nd Friday from 11am – 12:30pm ET. No previous writing experience necessary. Drop-ins welcome!

Upcoming Dates: 

  • December 9
  • 2023 sessions TBD

About Kiersten Gallagher

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 Smith Center 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, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

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.