Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is a D.C.-based health, education and arts organization dedicated to developing and promoting healing practices that explore physical, emotional, and mental wellness and lead to life-affirming changes. Smith Center specializes in serving people with cancer and utilizing arts and healing through community programming including yoga, meditation, nutrition classes and arts workshops; patient navigation training; and cancer retreats.
Cancer Programs: We offer empowering retreats and programs for adults living with cancer and their caregivers including yoga and stress reduction, creative expression, nutrition classes, as well as lectures and support programs.
Patient Navigation: Through the Institute of Integrative Oncology Navigation, we offer innovative national and local patient navigation trainings and contribute to the developing dialogue about patient care nationwide.
Arts & Healing: Smith Center has become a leader in the nationwide movement to promote the use of the arts in healing. We do this through programs and exhibitions at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery and by developing and sharing a range of innovative programs and initiatives in the community and across the nation.
Smith Center was recognized by the 2011-2012 Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the best small charities in the region.
Our Philosophy on Healing
Healing is a natural and often deeply personal process that can encompass the entire spectrum of our lives – physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual. For some it is a return to wholeness or a return of hope – to others it is a sense that “I will be all right, no matter what happens.” It can be a return of a long lost sense of joy in life or a renewed sense of purpose despite difficult circumstances. For others a new or renewed sense of belonging in the world, or of a sense that somehow everything makes sense.
There is an important dialogue that is taking place in contemporary biomedicine about the distinction between curing and healing. We want both. Curing is successful medical treatment. It is what the physician hopes to bring to the patient. Healing is broader, and comes from within. It is the inner process through which a person becomes whole. Curing affects the illness, while healing affects the experience of the illness. A person engaged in healing work can make a significant transformation in their quality of life. And that itself can sometimes have a positive affect on outcome.
Our work at Smith Center is to help ‘create the conditions for healing’ through support, community, and providing tools and techniques that promote healing. We believe that everyone harbors innate capacities for healing. We believe that healing is always possible even when curing is not.