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 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 are welcome to work on their own creative projects as we socialize.


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

Upcoming sessions:

  • December 2 (Social Hour)
  • December 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 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 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: 

  • 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 email instruction@knitwell.org to schedule an Individual Knitting Instruction appointment.

with Project Knitwell

Knitwell in the Cloud

During these stressful times, we need the wellness benefits of knitting now more than ever.

Project Knitwill invites you to join Knitwell in the Cloud, a new program offering private, one-on-one knitting lessons via Zoom. It’s a safe, effective way to knit and learn.

Who is this for?  Beginner knitters and those who already know how to knit but need help with a project.

How long are the sessions? 45-60 minutes. You will have up to 4 lessons with your instructor.

What equipment do I need to participate? A smartphone or tablet (iPad, etc.)  and the free Zoom app downloaded on the device you will use.

Do I need to get my own supplies?  No — Project Knitwell will provide you with what you need.


Knitwell in the Cloud is an ongoing program with rolling registration. Please email instruction@knitwell.org  or call 703-249-9112 and mention that you heard about the program through Smith Center.

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.


About the Project Knitwell Volunteers

About Ilene Gast

Ilene Gast

I have been knitting since childhood, learning when I received a knitting kit as a gift.  Knitting allows me to combine color and texture, transforming long strings of yarn into aesthetically pleasing, functional items.  I knit all manner of objects, but my favorites are wild colored socks and unusually shaped shawls.

Although finishing a knitted object is satisfying, it is secondary to the process of knitting. The rhythm of knitting is relaxing; it never fails to relieve stress.  At the end of graduate school, I not only completed a degree, but also created a series of “dissertation sweaters.”  Knitting also lets me take leave of myself.  When I am knitting for someone else, which is often, I can virtually spend time with that person.  Or, if I use yarn acquired in a special place, I am transported back in time and space.  Add portability to these benefits—I can take it with me!

However, most of all, I enjoy sharing the art and craft of knitting with others. I am fortunate to have discovered Project Knitwell, an organization dedicated to bringing the benefits of knitting to people in stressful situations.  I am doubly grateful to be part of the Schar ISC Artist in Residence program.

Please email Carla at carla@smithcenter.org to be added to the waitlist.

with Carole O’Toole

A small, almost inaudible voice will say what lies ahead. By Sheila Petruccelli

Cancer often initiates an intense transformational process that can raise more questions than answers, leading us to re-examine our beliefs and approach to life. We may feel called to explore opportunities for spiritual growth, feeling a desire to connect with the sacred in a more conscious way and define more deeply life’s meaning in the face of cancer.

Regardless of your personal beliefs or faith system, working with a spiritual companion offers you an opportunity to reflect with another on what is going on for you spiritually, and explore how to integrate your cancer experience with your personal beliefs.

Spiritual Companions:

  • Provide a safe, trusting environment that invites stillness and reflection.

  • Support your spiritual growth and exploration, your unique and personal journey.

  • Listen, deeply and with compassion, honoring your sacred story. This deep listening helps you to connect with your most authentic self and illuminate your unique spiritual path.


About Carole O’Toole

Carole O'Toole

Smith Center’s Spiritual Companion, Carole O’Toole, was called to companion others following her cancer experience that led her to explore how illness offers opportunities for spiritual growth. Since 2006 Carole has served in many roles at Smith Center, including Director of Residential Retreats, Director of the Institute of Integrative Oncology Navigation, Director of Smith Center’s Integrative Navigation Training Program, and as a member of and mentor for our integrative navigation team. Carole is currently receiving professional training in Spiritual Direction through The Haden Institute, with a particular focus on grief and loss and the spiritual challenges of living with cancer.

As a Spiritual Companion, Carole believes that what is truly transformative is compassionate presence.

“Your soul already knows the way to wholeness and healing, but often speaks to us in a small, still voice. In our time together, we create a nest for your soul to rest awhile, allowing space for your sacred truth to be revealed.”

Carole invites you to explore with her how to make meaning of your cancer experience and to look for where the holy is in your life. Currently, limited space is available for new clients. Individual appointments are available via Zoom or by telephone and are free of charge.

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 Candida DeLuise, LICSW

The holiday season can be stressful and this year’s holiday will be different for all of us, presenting new challenges. Join us in creating a peaceful refuge for each other. Candida will guide us in mindfulness practices to help us slow down and connect to our true hearts.

Suggested Donation: $10


About Candida DeLuise, LICSW

Candida DeLuise

Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy – Reiki, Energy work, Buddhist Psychology

As a contemplative psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience, Candida integrates mindfulness and psycho-spiritual approaches into the therapy process. She has worked with clients on transitions, relationships, trauma, mood disorders, chronic illness and aging issues. Creating a safe and nurturing space, she draws on mind-body awareness and Buddhist psychology. Candida is also a Reiki practitioner and life celebrant, crafting rituals to honor significant events. She is licensed in D.C. to officiate weddings and loves working with couples to create a custom ceremony that highlights their unique relationship. An experienced coach, consultant and Buddhist practitioner, Candida teaches meditation and leads workshops on mindfulness in everyday life. She works with artists in the creative process, and with individuals and groups committed to social change. She believes that as we reconnect to our inherent wisdom, we empower ourselves to live a more full and expansive life. 240-462-9550
candidadeluise@gmail.com

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

Join Yael Flusberg in a physical and creative exploration of the connection between gratitude (Thanksgiving) and generosity (winter holidays).

Generosity is the capacity to give the best of ourselves to others. Generosity is an expression of gratitude for what we already have, even in the most challenging of times. In giving to others, we widen the circle of those we’re willing to connect to and care about, rather than closing in on ourselves and a few loved ones.

To put it simply: gratitude is about observation and appreciation, and generosity is about decisions and action. In this way, gratitude and generosity are similar to writing and yoga where our capacity to be present to our experience can either limit or expand the possibilities for skillful action.

In this workshop, we will intersperse movement with writing prompts to help us escape our habitual residence in the intellect, and assume a more graceful position in the realm of reflective presence, where deliberate decisions can be made. Participants should dress comfortably, practice on a yoga mat or thick carpet, and bring your favorite notebook and pen.

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