Founded in 1996, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (formerly Smith Farm) is a nonprofit health, education, and arts organization offering integrative healing programs and resources that explore physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Dedicated to serving those affected by cancer, we now also offer many of our resources to the community at large. We serve thousands of people each year.
Our mission is to develop and promote healing practices that explore physical, emotional, and mental resources that lead to life-affirming changes for people living with illness and for the community at large.
Our work is based on a single profound idea: that everyone harbors the innate ability to heal even in the face of life’s most serious challenges, and that ability to heal is enhanced by holistic approaches that include the healing power of the arts. Smith Center is a vibrant leader of the DC community—providing healing resources to individuals, families, and communities affected by cancer and other serious illnesses—and was showcased in the 2011-2012 Catalogue for Philanthropy as one of the best small charities in the region.
We offer empowering programs and activities for adult survivors and caregivers, as well as support and creative resources for the community at large through our Integrative Patient Navigation Services; Weeklong and One-Day Cancer Retreats; our Artist-In-Residence Program; exhibitions and lectures in The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery; and our Community Resource Center at our U Street facility where we hold ongoing programs, classes, and workshops.
Our educators include noted experts in the arts and health fields and topics include creative writing, painting, diet and nutrition, exercise, and stress reduction.
Our Philosophy on Healing
Healing is very different from curing. Today, a cure for an illness is generally due to medical intervention that causes an illness to disappear. Curing is a form of repair, while in contrast, healing is a form of growth. We believe that healing is always possible, even if a cure is not.
We see healing as a lifelong journey in which each individual’s path is unique. Healing is an integrative process that encompasses the entire spectrum of our existence—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Healing evokes our potential for wholeness, shows us life and ourselves in different ways, making our perspectives larger and wiser. It helps us to find meaning by asking us what is right with ourselves and explores our most fulfilling ways of being, relating and creating in the world. Our goal is to support the people we work with in taking their next step in healing, whatever that step may be.