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/

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

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must have attended the first session in the series.

with Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

865,792 Writing Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

A typical legal will is about property and assets you will leave behind. But what about the intangible parts of you that you hope your loved ones will remember?

Join us for a program where you will create your own “ethical will,” also known as a legacy letter, love will, or life letter. Share wisdom and feelings with your next of kin, chosen family, or community in writing or any creative medium that speaks to you. These are nonlegal letters to people important to you that reflect your voice, your experiences, your personality and your values. We all experience thinking about and preparing for death in different ways. The ancient practice of crafting an ethical will can be a gift not only for the recipient(s) in the future, but also for you in the present in that it can provide sacred gifts of meaning and spirit.

This three-part workshop series aspires to create a safe space for you to gain confidence in your ability to share your values with loved ones in meaningful ways. Activities will include writing exercises, group discussion, reflective practices, and practical information to help ensure you complete the workshop with a beautiful product that will give your voice life long after death.

Participation is appropriate for adults of all states of health, ages, and faiths. You don’t have to consider yourself a “writer” to participate! Our activities will be fun, simple, and supportive.


Give Your Voice Life After Death: An Ethical Will Writing Workshop will be hosted in three parts. Participants must attend the first session and are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working ethical will. Program limited to 14 participants.
Program dates:
  • October 14
  • October 21
  • October 28

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series


About Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky is a master’s in social work candidate at Simmons University and is completing her advanced clinical placement at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. She 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. She is now combining her law background with her lifelong belief in the healing power of writing to pilot this workshop on (nonlegal) ethical wills.
Mindy is a member of the Florida Bar and an active alumna of the University of Miami School of Law, where she serves as adjunct faculty.
Inspired by her father’s use of ethical wills in his estate planning practice, as well as by Smith Center community members, Mindy hopes this workshop will be a lasting gift for participants and their loved ones for many years to come.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must have attended the first session in the series.

with Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

865,792 Writing Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

A typical legal will is about property and assets you will leave behind. But what about the intangible parts of you that you hope your loved ones will remember?

Join us for a program where you will create your own “ethical will,” also known as a legacy letter, love will, or life letter. Share wisdom and feelings with your next of kin, chosen family, or community in writing or any creative medium that speaks to you. These are nonlegal letters to people important to you that reflect your voice, your experiences, your personality and your values. We all experience thinking about and preparing for death in different ways. The ancient practice of crafting an ethical will can be a gift not only for the recipient(s) in the future, but also for you in the present in that it can provide sacred gifts of meaning and spirit.

This three-part workshop series aspires to create a safe space for you to gain confidence in your ability to share your values with loved ones in meaningful ways. Activities will include writing exercises, group discussion, reflective practices, and practical information to help ensure you complete the workshop with a beautiful product that will give your voice life long after death.

Participation is appropriate for adults of all states of health, ages, and faiths. You don’t have to consider yourself a “writer” to participate! Our activities will be fun, simple, and supportive.


Give Your Voice Life After Death: An Ethical Will Writing Workshop will be hosted in three parts. Participants must attend the first session and are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working ethical will. Program limited to 14 participants.
Program dates:
  • October 14
  • October 21
  • October 28

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series


About Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky is a master’s in social work candidate at Simmons University and is completing her advanced clinical placement at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. She 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. She is now combining her law background with her lifelong belief in the healing power of writing to pilot this workshop on (nonlegal) ethical wills.
Mindy is a member of the Florida Bar and an active alumna of the University of Miami School of Law, where she serves as adjunct faculty.
Inspired by her father’s use of ethical wills in his estate planning practice, as well as by Smith Center community members, Mindy hopes this workshop will be a lasting gift for participants and their loved ones for many years to come.

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 Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

865,792 Writing Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

A typical legal will is about property and assets you will leave behind. But what about the intangible parts of you that you hope your loved ones will remember?

Join us for a program where you will create your own “ethical will,” also known as a legacy letter, love will, or life letter. Share wisdom and feelings with your next of kin, chosen family, or community in writing or any creative medium that speaks to you. These are nonlegal letters to people important to you that reflect your voice, your experiences, your personality and your values. We all experience thinking about and preparing for death in different ways. The ancient practice of crafting an ethical will can be a gift not only for the recipient(s) in the future, but also for you in the present in that it can provide sacred gifts of meaning and spirit.

This three-part workshop series aspires to create a safe space for you to gain confidence in your ability to share your values with loved ones in meaningful ways. Activities will include writing exercises, group discussion, reflective practices, and practical information to help ensure you complete the workshop with a beautiful product that will give your voice life long after death.

Participation is appropriate for adults of all states of health, ages, and faiths. You don’t have to consider yourself a “writer” to participate! Our activities will be fun, simple, and supportive.


Give Your Voice Life After Death: An Ethical Will Writing Workshop will be hosted in three parts. Participants must attend the first session and are encouraged to attend all three sessions. Upon completion of the three parts, participants will have developed a working ethical will. Program limited to 14 participants.
Program dates:
  • October 14
  • October 21
  • October 28

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series


About Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky is a master’s in social work candidate at Simmons University and is completing her advanced clinical placement at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. She 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. She is now combining her law background with her lifelong belief in the healing power of writing to pilot this workshop on (nonlegal) ethical wills.
Mindy is a member of the Florida Bar and an active alumna of the University of Miami School of Law, where she serves as adjunct faculty.
Inspired by her father’s use of ethical wills in his estate planning practice, as well as by Smith Center community members, Mindy hopes this workshop will be a lasting gift for participants and their loved ones for many years to come.

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 Susi Wyss

Tap into the healing properties of nature in a supportive environment in this summer-inspired writing workshop led by a therapeutic writing facilitator. Please plan to have on hand an object from nature, as well as paper (or journal) and pen. No writing experience necessary, just an open mind.

Suggested Donation: $20


About 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, most of it 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 at Crossings Healing & Wellness in Silver Spring.

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 Rick Black, an international prize-winning haiku poet

Take some of your most cherished and beloved memories — and turn them into haiku or short poems to share with others. When you’re feeling low and just need an extra boost, it will help remind you of your favorite times and people. An experienced poet will help you along the way to make these poems memorable for you and others.

Suggested Donation: $20


About Rick Black

A poet, book artist and photographer, Rick Black is the founder and owner of Turtle Light Press, a small publishing company that specializes in handcrafted books, fine art prints and note cards.

In recent years, Rick has won several awards for his own poetry as well as books that he has published. He has given readings at the Library of Congress and elsewhere around the country. He often takes bike rides in the region and can be spotted taking photographs in and around Arlington, Falls Church, and Washington, D.C.

As he has gotten to know the area, he has begun turning his digital photos into artistic paintings – luminous, colorful and playful. His images have been selected to adorn the rooms of the Hilton Garden Inn in Falls Church. He has exhibited widely in the mid-Atlantic region and his work can be found in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

For close to twenty years, he worked as a journalist, including a three-year stint in the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times. He also has freelanced for numerous national newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and other publications.

To see more of Rick’s books or his artistic photographs, please visit his website: www.turtlelightpress.com

with Rick Black, an international prize-winning haiku poet

Take some of your most cherished and beloved memories — and turn them into haiku or short poems to share with others. When you’re feeling low and just need an extra boost, it will help remind you of your favorite times and people. An experienced poet will help you along the way to make these poems memorable for you and others.

Suggested Donation: $20


About Rick Black

A poet, book artist and photographer, Rick Black is the founder and owner of Turtle Light Press, a small publishing company that specializes in handcrafted books, fine art prints and note cards.

In recent years, Rick has won several awards for his own poetry as well as books that he has published. He has given readings at the Library of Congress and elsewhere around the country. He often takes bike rides in the region and can be spotted taking photographs in and around Arlington, Falls Church, and Washington, D.C.

As he has gotten to know the area, he has begun turning his digital photos into artistic paintings – luminous, colorful and playful. His images have been selected to adorn the rooms of the Hilton Garden Inn in Falls Church. He has exhibited widely in the mid-Atlantic region and his work can be found in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

For close to twenty years, he worked as a journalist, including a three-year stint in the Jerusalem bureau of The New York Times. He also has freelanced for numerous national newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and other publications.

To see more of Rick’s books or his artistic photographs, please visit his website: www.turtlelightpress.com

with Ravenna Raven & Jenny Hegland

Join poets Ravenna Raven and Jenny Hegland for a 5-15 minute conversation as they write custom poems that are composed, typewritten, and given to each participant.

Participants can arrive anytime between 12:00 and 3:00pm and wait their turn for a conversation with one of the poets. Tea and water are always available in the Nook while you wait.


About the poets

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.

Jenny is a creative facilitator, coach, and social entrepreneur whose life’s work centers around community engagement, participatory leadership, and social justice. She moved to the greater DC area in 2018 after living in Saipan (Northern Mariana Islands) for three years, where she co-founded and led two disaster recovery nonprofits. Prior to that she worked in higher education for 10 years as a counselor, instructor, and partnership liaison. She holds a M.S. in counseling and a B.S. in communications.

Participants are encouraged to attend all 4 classes, beginning on Wednesday, October 2nd.

Please click here to register for this series.

with Stacie Marinelli

October 30, 6:30-8:00pm – Poetry Performance!

Please join us in hearing and supporting the poetry developed throughout this month-long workshop by our fantastic participants. All are welcome. Free to attend.


Having cancer brings up so many new emotions and its trials test our stamina and strength. Writing about what we go through can release some of the trauma and allow us to view our path with new eyes. This is a four-session writing workshop for writers at all levels that will culminate in a reading of our work. Together we will share what we have to say about living with cancer from diagnosis to survivorship and generate new work through spontaneous writing using various prompts. Bring a notebook or laptop to the sessions.

Suggested Donation: $30 (includes all 4 classes)

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 Stacie Marinelli

Stacie Marinelli is a local writer, researcher and storyteller who became involved with the Smith Center after her diagnosis of tongue & neck cancer in 2012. Words about the experience tumbled out in journal entries and poems which allowed her to better accept her cancer. She has blogged about her sense of community during cancer treatment and on being a peer mentor for the cancer-support group Imerman Angels. In Boston and DC, she led workshops on writing practice based on the books of Natalie Goldberg, on writing about one’s life as a heroic journey, and on creative memoir. She served as the managing editor of a New England storytelling newsletter for many years and her writing and editing work includes poems and articles published in anthologies and magazines.