Smith Center focuses on a single profound idea: everyone harbors the innate ability to heal, even when facing life’s most serious challenges. Specializing in psychosocial support, the center helps those affected by cancer and other illnesses to improve their well-being. Workshops, classes, retreats, and tailored support groups (including Spanish-language and young adult groups) focus on creativity, stress reduction, nutrition, physical activity, and coping strategies — all of which have been shown to improve patients’ prognosis and quality of life. Trained patient navigators provide individual support throughout the cancer experience, from diagnosis through survivorship and end-of-life. Through its support programs, public art gallery, and events that explore the innate connection between creativity and well-being, Smith Center has served over 31,000 people (and counting). We must focus on our community's health — because even when a cure is out of reach, healing is always possible.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 2; DC-Ward 3; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8; U Street Corridor

Age Groups Served: Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: All

  • Number of people served by our Cancer Support Programs anually:   1,500
  • Number of people who have attended our gallery annually:   3,200
  • Performances/exhibits/art classes, etc. offered annually:   5

Awards & Recognition

-Komen for the Cure awards for work with survivorship 1998, 1999
-Washington Cancer Institute Innovations Awards for Survivorship
-2010 Rosemary Williams Community Award from Howard University Cancer Center (HUCC)
-Two-time recipient of the Susan G. Komen Virginia Kelly Award for Excellence in Survivorship
-Recipient of a three-year Susan G. Komen Academic Partnership Grant for a 2009-2011 partnership with Howard University's Center for Urban Progress (CUP)
-Smith Center presented at the Association of Oncology Social Workers' National Conference (AOSW) in 2011
-The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) Conference and the Oncology Nursing Society Congress in 2012
-The Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) in 2012 and 2013
-In 2011, Executive Director Shanti Norris received a Distinguished Fellow Award from the Global Alliance for Arts and Health.


Budget (FY2023)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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