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 Charity Sade

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.


The group is held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month. Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • December 2 & 16

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About 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, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Project Knitwell and Friends

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 a 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.

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.

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.

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, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Melanie Edwards

Melanie & Student

Singer, songwriter and musician, Melanie Edwards, recently launched Musical Mending Workshops which can be curated for any specific healing modality, be it collectively or individually. The workshops help with memory, cognition, expression, general well being and are just plain fun for participants. In addition, the classes focus on teaching techniques to manage grief, anxiety, depression and many more ailments by administering sonic techniques to relieve stress, help find inner peace and express authenticity. She often uses different instruments & singing skills to activate relaxation, calm the mind and nourish the soul. This is not about performing or being a professional singer, but rather a shared experience of collective sound healing in the present moment for the whole family. Participants are free to join or simply observe in shared space, as well as bring their own mantras, words or poems to self reflect and express via musical mending.


Wellness in the Time of COVID

The Washington Home

This 6-month integrative wellness series, sponsored by The Washington Home, will be offered to caregivers, those who are critically ill, and those facing cancer-related challenges during this especially difficult time.

Check out the full series program schedule HERE!


About Melanie Edwards

Melanie Edwards

Melanie Edwards is an award-winning singer, songwriter, pianist, violinist, music practitioner and tv/film composer. She holds a master’s degree (MFA) in music from The Savannah College of Art and Design and is certified in Mental Health First Aid USA by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. She has 25 years experience as a performing artist and expressive healer with several partner charities and organizations, such as: National Theatre DC and Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. In addition, she is the resident pianist for Clyde’s Restaurant and has performed at Gypsy Sally’s, The Henley Park Hotel, Beacon Bar and Grill and Peruvian Ambassador Castilla’s Residence in Washington, DC. She is also a regular performer at Rockwood Music Hall, in New York City.

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 Project Knitwell and Friends

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 a 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.

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.

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.

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, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Rachel Ress, LGSW

This group is designed for cancer survivors who have completed their primary cancer treatment(s) and are now either post-treatment or on maintenance medication (such as hormonal therapy). Cancer can be emotionally and physically draining — many times we aren’t able to fully process the experience until after treatment is over and we are trying to get back to our “normal” lives. The struggle and expectation to find “normal” again can also be an overwhelming process. This group is a space where you can talk openly about these issues and process the trauma of cancer with other survivors.

The Survivorship Support Group will meet Monthly on Tuesdays from 6:30-7:30pm.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 8

About Rachel Ress, LGSW

Rachel is a Licensed Social Worker in Washington, DC. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice where she interned at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Rachel joined the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in 2018. Rachel uses an eclectic approach in providing support and compassion to cancer patients and their families. Her clinical work focuses primarily on the care of patients diagnosed with breast, brain, and lung cancers, and she is passionate about the intersection of chronic illness and mental health.

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 or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Maude Fish & Bonnie Vermillion

This ongoing healing circle will focus on the unique needs that people who are living with Lymphedema face. 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.


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.

Healing Circle for People Living with Lymphedema will be held Monthly on Mondays from 2:30-3:30pm.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 7

About Maude Fish

Maude Fish has performed classical music throughout the DC Metro area since she moved to Washington in 1988. Currently, she plays regularly with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Virginia Chamber Orchestra, The Arlington Philharmonic, and the Tysons-McLean Orchestra. In prior years, she has worked with orchestras as distant as Roanoke, VA, and St. Mary’s, MD. She teaches piano and bassoon privately from her home in Chevy Chase, DC. She is no stranger to Smith Center having participated in a day-long writers retreat and yoga classes when she finished active treatment for breast cancer in 2004. Additionally, her chamber group performed at Smith Center at a gallery opening for the Alchemical Vessels Exhibit. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, cooking, knitting, and writing. She is married with two adult children, her dog Otto, and Cookie the Cockatiel.

About Bonnie Vermillion

I am a Cancer survivor/thriver since 1998 and have had lymphedema since 2002. I initially had so much trouble finding information on lymphedema that I went online and found an exercise program that was developed to maintain lymphedema. I became an instructor, then trainer, and finally acquired the program in 2014. I currently teach classes in central Virginia. I’m also a regional coordinator for Chronic Disease Self Management workshops, so actively work with small groups of participants for them to self-manage their chronic conditions. I am also a volunteer Ombudsman with the local Agency on Aging and a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association as a support group facilitator and speaker.

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 Charity Sade

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.


The group is held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month. Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • December 2 & 16

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.


About 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, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Project Knitwell and Friends

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 a 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.

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.

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.

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.

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/