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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio and meeting at the same time on OTL’s off-weeks, this workshop will begin with a series of partnered exercises in which participants tell chapters of their own stories in their own words.

With our stories as a springboard, we will independently explore transforming our stories into written work in a variety of genres. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched! We’ll choose and explore a new genre each week, discovering what different forms have to say to us—and we to them.

Possible forms include poetry, monologue, fairy tale, and film noir.  While many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice,” Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the chance to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 15

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio and meeting at the same time on OTL’s off-weeks, this workshop will begin with a series of partnered exercises in which participants tell chapters of their own stories in their own words.

With our stories as a springboard, we will independently explore transforming our stories into written work in a variety of genres. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched! We’ll choose and explore a new genre each week, discovering what different forms have to say to us—and we to them.

Possible forms include poetry, monologue, fairy tale, and film noir.  While many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice,” Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the chance to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • November 10
  • December 15

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio and meeting at the same time on OTL’s off-weeks, this workshop will begin with a series of partnered exercises in which participants tell chapters of their own stories in their own words.

With our stories as a springboard, we will independently explore transforming our stories into written work in a variety of genres. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched! We’ll choose and explore a new genre each week, discovering what different forms have to say to us—and we to them.

Possible forms include poetry, monologue, fairy tale, and film noir.  While many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice,” Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the chance to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • October 27
  • November 10
  • December 15

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio and meeting at the same time on OTL’s off-weeks, this workshop will begin with a series of partnered exercises in which participants tell chapters of their own stories in their own words.

With our stories as a springboard, we will independently explore transforming our stories into written work in a variety of genres. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched! We’ll choose and explore a new genre each week, discovering what different forms have to say to us—and we to them.

Possible forms include poetry, monologue, fairy tale, and film noir.  While many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice,” Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the chance to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • October 13 & 27
  • November 10
  • December 15

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

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 Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio and meeting at the same time on OTL’s off-weeks, this workshop will begin with a series of partnered exercises in which participants tell chapters of their own stories in their own words.

With our stories as a springboard, we will independently explore transforming our stories into written work in a variety of genres. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched! We’ll choose and explore a new genre each week, discovering what different forms have to say to us—and we to them.

Possible forms include poetry, monologue, fairy tale, and film noir.  While many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice,” Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the chance to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • September 8 & 29
  • October 13 & 27
  • November 10
  • December 15

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

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 Gayle Danley, national & international poetry slam champion

Gayle Performing in Frederick, MD
Gayle Performing in Frederick, MD

Slam poetry began in Chicago’s bars and coffeehouses in the late 1980’s. This phenomenal blend of spoken and written word turns every willing soul into a poet while providing relief from the stresses of the day. Master teaching artist Gayle Danley has shared her down-on-the-floor style of performance poetry all over the country in classrooms, lecture halls, theatres and even on CBS’ 60 minutes.

 

Join her for much laughter, emotion, comfort, understanding and instruction in the art of slam poetry. Her 4-step process has been tried in the fire and proven to be an effective antidote to the blues of the day and the isolation that threatens to drive us mad!

Suggested Donation: $15


Poem for my Sisters With Sons:
Breathe:
Pull a clean fist of air inside your self
and let it rest there
wide and unfrightened inside your belly
asking for nothing
Remember when the baby boy was there
Stirring and fighting and kicking things around
inside of you.
And where is he now?
Kicking at air
asking for everything
Defiance rippling on the edge of his skin
Beautiful as water
And do not worry if your brown boy 
doesn’t smile enough
as long as he still smiles at you:
over dinner
over the news
from beneath a curtain of hair tangled and sprawled,
it is enough
Does he still know your name?
Good.
Does he still reach for you when there is blood
Does he still make you want to kill him on Monday mornings
and kill FOR him on Saturday nights?
Good
Is he still
breathing
good 
good 
good
Your turn:
breathe
again
until all
the air you can find
makes home
 within your body
Your black sad
scared hopeful body
Round and trembling
like your mother’s
Rest now
tomorrow will come before you know it
with her hair on fire and her knee on your neck
Your son knows you are his home
He has memorized all the valleys in your voice
every scream and grin
He ain’t going anywhere far
He is not leaving you
He will not vanish
he will not stray
Your breath is his
Your love is his
Never leaving
never dying
never going
away

And, check out more of Gayle’s work on YouTube here!


About Gayle Danley

Gayle Danley

Soon after crushing the competition at Asheville’s National Poetry Slam in 1994, Gayle Danley entered America’s classrooms teaching thousands of children how to access their emotions through the force of words. She performed and taught her way from Maryland Young Audience’s Artist of the Year, to National Young Audience’s Artist of the Year. She’s also both a former national and international poetry slam champion. CBS 60 Minutes profiled her work with middle schoolers as well as the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and New York Times.

For the past five years, Gayle’s Grieffriend sessions have helped women who are living with AIDS, widows, incarcerated youth and those struggling with drug addiction and recovery use poetry to cope and bravely face life’s challenges.

Gayle was recently named Maryland Library Association Poet of the Year.

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 Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio and meeting at the same time on OTL’s off-weeks, this workshop will begin with a series of partnered exercises in which participants tell chapters of their own stories in their own words.

With our stories as a springboard, we will independently explore transforming our stories into written work in a variety of genres. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched! We’ll choose and explore a new genre each week, discovering what different forms have to say to us—and we to them.

Possible forms include poetry, monologue, fairy tale, and film noir.  While many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice,” Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the chance to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 10:30am-12:00pm ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • September 8 & 29
  • October 13 & 27
  • November 10
  • December 15

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

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 Martina Sestakova

Enjoy a workshop of poetry reading and abstract painting with art educator Martina Sestakova. We will refer to Mary Oliver’s poems for inspiration for intuitive explorations in watercolors. May words be interpreted through colors, shapes, and textures? Join in and see.

No experience is needed: just your curious self!

Supplies:

  • 2 sheets of watercolor paper (9×12”)
  • 5-7 sheets of watercolor paper (5×7”)
  • 1 cup for water
  • 1 watercolor paints (trays or tubes)
  • 1 brush (or a variety)
  • 1 pencil
  • paper for notes

Suggested Donation: $10


About Martina Sestakova

Martina Sestakova (owner at RADOST) engages in textile design, painting, and art education. Martina creates scarves that invoke stories of life experiences. Her scarves have been featured on Voice of America and at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (DC). In her paintings on yupo, she communicates words through colors and shapes. Her artworks have been shown at the Adah Rose Gallery (MD) and Latela Curatorial (DC) and other art institutions. As an art educator, Martina offers workshops and brings creativity to the public and communities with limited access to the arts. Martina Sestakova resides in Kensington, MD.

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 Kathleen O’Toole

There’s a reason that the ancient Celts celebrated Bealtaine (Beltane: May 1, or Mayday) which falls halfway between the Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice. For us in the northern hemisphere, early May ushers in our weeks of greatest light. Doors, windows, byres and livestock would be decorated with yellow May flowers. In parts of Ireland, people would make a May Bush: a thorn bush or branch decorated with flowers, ribbons, bright shells and rushlights. Elsewhere in Europe: Maypoles and music brought people together.

 

In this 90-minute session, we’ll take time to notice and record the wonders of nature and light around us. Kathleen O’Toole, Poet Laureate of Takoma Park, MD will share some of her own and others’ “poems of attention” and invite participants to respond – words, short poems, sketches – and explore some writing practices to help us enter this season with greater attention, and intention. No previous poetry writing experience required, just an openness to playing with words. Bring an open heart, and maybe a photo or sketch of something you’ve noticed this spring that gave you joy.

Suggested Donation: $10


About Kathleen O’Toole

Takoma Park Poet Laureate Kathleen O’Toole is the author of 4 books of poetry (find her at https://kathleenotoolepoetry.com). She has taught writing at Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. As evident in her longer work, she often seeks inspiration and consolation in nature. For more than thirty years she has been writing haiku as a spiritual practice of attention, and to deepen her experience of the natural world.

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 Ravenna Raven

Seasonal by Ravenna Raven

If you’re a good listener, people will trust you with their stories. The Good Listening Project is a nonprofit that promotes cultures of listening to support healing. In this interactive workshop, Listener Poet Ravenna Raven will share tips about her process from starting a conversation with a stranger to creating a poem for them, and will invite you to try these techniques with someone else in the group.

Suggested Donation: $10


About Ravenna Raven

Ravenna Raven

Ravenna Raven is a poet, educator, and sewing artist living in Washington, D.C. She spent her childhood in a 250-year-old farmhouse in rural New Jersey, reading and writing stories to entertain herself. While studying poetry as a graduate student at the University of Maryland, she began developing and teaching courses for creative writing, reading development, and inquiry research. Ravenna is a listener poet with a nonprofit that promotes good listening in hospitals and healing spaces while supporting patient and staff wellbeing and the humanization of healthcare. Her upcoming projects will combine her love of language with a passion for sewing and garment design to create custom, one-of-a-kind wearable poems.

About The Good Listening Project

The Good Listening Project

The Good Listening Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps build cultures of good listening to support resilience and healing in healthcare systems. Our Listener Poets speak with people in healthcare settings and write custom poetry based on these conversations.

Why We Listen

By modeling good listening and writing poems, we help people feel safe, human, and heard. By publishing and promoting the poems and stories of our participants, we seek to highlight the humanity within the healthcare system.

We also host webinars and interactive workshops about how to be a good listener. The organic ripple effect of good listening fundamentally shifts how it feels to work and receive care at a hospital.

We envision a more resilient world where all people experience connection and belonging.

https://www.goodlistening.org/