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Mixed Bag Dance MLK Youth Parade Healing Expo Houston Youth Symphony Conference About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative Texas Yoga Conference
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Greetings and welcome to GISH PICKS: A GUIDE TO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES, a free weekly e-newsletter/blog I created as a service to the Houston community in 2003. Please enjoy and please share. My business grows by word-of-mouth from people like YOU! In fact, here’s an easy way to spread the word in Facebook land: please LIKE my GISH PICKS Facebook page and you’ll be eligible to win two passes for dance classes at Planet Funk Academy, which offers a lively Saturday morning’s kids’ Hip Hop class as well as a slew of other funky dance ed. Last week, Sarah Schageman, Lisa Bricarell, and Laura Sheinkopf won passes to the "Mixed Bag” dance show taking place this Sunday, January 20 at 3pm – enjoy, mamas!

Whew! It’s a bizzy, dizzy week so get your running shoes on! First of all, in case you’ve been under a rock, Monday is MLK Day which mean our darling anklebiters are out of school. But never fear – I found a fun parade for you to enjoy (see below). “Arbor Day” (from the Latin “arbor” meaning tree) is celebrated around the world and here in Houston, we like to plant trees the 3rd weekend in January. The City of Houston is honoring the day by replacing all the trees that were lost to the drought this Saturday and the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center has a special free family event, also on Saturday. I have many relatives in California who constantly boast that they can easily grow avocados, oranges, peaches, and more in their backyards – well, nanny nanny boo boo! Thanks to Urban Harvest, I can get lime trees, pear trees, and much more at their annual Fruit Tree Sale this Saturday morn.

I’m compiling the 2013 edition of The Summer Book®: A Guide to Houston Day Camps and Classes for Kids and Teens so if you’re a camp director that wants to be included, email me and I’ll make it so. If you’re a parent, it’ll come out early March and you’ll be the first to know. In addition to day camps, my sons always go to residential camp in Tennessee -- Camp Country Lad is in a rustic setting and is perfect for active boys. You can meet the camp directors next Sunday, January 27 and learn more about what they have to offer; email me if you are interested in attending. And if you have girls, check out its sister camp, Camp Monterey, around the corner from the boys camp. My husband and I went to both camps as kids and I promise you they are really special. If you contact them directly, be sure to tell them I sent you!

This weekend, I’ll be teaching a group of Girl Scouts about the joys of friendships in my workshop, “The Wizard of Oz is AMAZE-ing,” (contact me if you’d like more details or would like to book me) and attending the 2013 Metaphysical Healing Expo, where I’ll be picking up my very own copy of the print version of the brand new Houston Holistic Directory. I just finished teaching my bi-monthly “What’s Your Purpose?” workshop at Body Mind & Soul -- if you’re interested in joining me next time, mark your calendar for Saturday, March 30, 3-5pm and stay tuned for details. If you’d like one-on-one help with finding your purpose, book me for an intuitive guidance session – I’d love to help you get focused! And if you’re looking for a community of women, join my friend Laura Burns and I for FOLLOW YOUR HEART: A TRANSFORMATION CIRCLE FOR WOMEN that meets twice monthly at Marti Ewing Yoga Therapy at 1128 W. Pierce in Montrose.

Here’s a cultural heads up: CAMELOT is coming to town next week, thanks to Theatre Under the Stars/TUTS and they have organized a special “Kids Night on Broadway” next Wednesday, January 23 at 7:30pm. Check here for all the details next week!

Monday, January 21 is “National Hugging Day so I encourage you to hug away that day and every day (not only does it feel good but it also improves your health)! And my friend Simplicity Love is offering free kids’ yoga classes next Monday evening at Nia Moves.

Have a great week, hug each other, and GO.FIND.FUN.

Picks for the Weekend of January 18, 2013

Mixed Bag


If there’s a chill in the air, it must be time for Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre” at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center/ERJCC! This year’s annual special dedication to the art of dance runs through February 9. I want to highlight a special performance for you that’s perfect for kiddos: Mixed Bag” will take place this Sunday, January 20 at 3pm at the Kaplan Theatre of the ERJCC. The show promises an exhilarating array of Houston pre-professional dance featuring Carver Dance Company, Exclamation Dance Company, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) and Vitacca Dance Project. What’s more inspiring than having your kids can see other kids and young adults dancing?! Information about purchasing tickets is below – please note there is a SPECIAL OFFER just for you, dear readers.

“Dance Month” celebrates its 33rd season showcasing Houston's talent as well as national dancers, teachers, and choreographers. Endeavoring to promote an appreciation of all dance forms, the series presents master classes, workshops and concerts. Dance community outreach, audience expansion and professional artistic development are continuing goals of Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre.

Tickets to “Mixed Bag” are $16/ERJCC Member, $22/General Public; and $12/Senior Adult & Student. WE HAVE A SPECIAL OFFER EXCLUSIVE TO GISH PICKS READERS! CLICK HERE AND ENTER PROMO CODE “gishpicksdance” and receive half-priced general public tickets!

Houston Youth Symphony


Here’s a great way to expose your kids to classical music performed by their peers: bring them to hear the award-winning Houston Youth Symphony (HYS) tomorrow, Thursday, January 17, at 7pm at Rice University’s Stude Concert Hall as HYS celebrates 65 years of bringing the finest classical music education experiences to Houston’s talented children with a special anniversary concert. The 65th Anniversary Concert will feature the HYS Symphony and the Houston Masterworks Chorus along with Timothy Hester on piano and HYS Artistic Director and Conductor Michael Webster. Established through a partnership between Houston Independent School District and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, today HYS is one of the largest and longest-running music education nonprofits in the region. Each week, HYS works with more than 350 students in its core orchestra program featuring four orchestras of various skill-levels; a chamber music program for the more advanced musicians; and its signature outreach effort, The HYS Melody Program, which brings private lessons to talented youth in targeted economically disadvantaged schools.

The Anniversary Concert program is highlighted by Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra in C minor, Op. 80. Popularly known as the Choral Fantasy, it was written in 1808 to supply a brilliant ending to an all-Beethoven program which included premieres of both the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. An opening piano solo, first improvised by Beethoven and later written down, is performed by special guest pianist Timothy Hester. This is the Houston Youth Symphony’s first collaboration with the Houston Masterworks Chorus. The concert also includes selections from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.”

Tickets for this concert are $15/each and can be purchased in advance by clicking here. On the evening of the concert, tickets can be purchased by cash or check only at the Shepherd School box office.

MLK Youth Parade


The MLK Parade Foundation–Houston will host the Annual MLK Youth Parade-Midtown Houston starting in Houston's midtown on San Jacinto at Elgin Streets this Monday, January 19, promptly at noon. This year’s theme is “There is but one Race and that is the Human Race.” Houston is the nation’s most diverse city so we’re celebrating that fact in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with one of the largest multicultural celebrations in the U.S. commemorating the MLK National Holiday Observance. The Parade will articulate Dr. King's message of inclusion and diversity while recognizing the achievements of all participants, including youth from around the country.

Featuring more than 200 performing groups from across the nation, including 20 nationally acclaimed marching bands, there will be a Toyota Battle of the Bands competition following the Parade at 4pm at the Joe Kelly Butler Stadium at 13755 South Main Street. Here’s to MLK and all that he stood for!

2013 Metaphysical Healing Expo


Then join us at the 2013 Metaphysical Healing Expo this weekend. This 2-day event will kick off this Saturday, January 19, at 9am with Gem Queen Joyful Journeys' Teresa Maron, who will have a free gift for every attendee of her talk "The Healing Power of Gemstones." Also in the crowd will be publisher of the fabulous new Houston Holistic Directory Helen Racz, health coach Theresa Buede, life consultant Peggy Sue Skipper, whole life designer Mary Tritico Wilson, Local Live Houston radio dude Jordan Michael Pannell, and soooo many other healers and wise ones. I’ll have a table there on Sunday so I hope you’ll stop by to see my new line of greeting cards and learn about my new e-newsletter/blog SPIRIT PICKS: A GUIDE TO INSPIRING ACTIVITIES IN HOUSTON. Join us and see what the healing community is all about!

While at the Expo, be sure to pick up a copy of the wonderful new and very informative Houston Holistic Directory which is online and in print. This handy dandy guide to healers was the brainchild of Helen Racz and is THE go-to guide for body/mind/soul help. If you’re a healing arts practitioner, check out the site for details on how to get listed. And if you’re in need of help, go to the site and look around for what you need.

The Expo takes place at the Crown Plaza Brookhollow at 12801 Northwest Freeway. It's $20 at the door for the day (and we’re talking a full day -- 9am-6pm) or you can purchase a weekend pass. Check out all the ticket options here.

Texas Yoga Conference


The Fourth Annual Texas Yoga Conference will be at the George R. Brown Convention Center the weekend of March 1-3 and I hope you’ll attend. The Conference is a yearly gathering of some of the best yoga teachers and motivational speakers from around the world in a retreat full of presentations, yoga classes for all levels, lectures and fun music concerts during three complete days in Houston. It’s for yoga beginners (like me) and seasoned practitioners alike and is lotsa fun and healthy times to boot. This year’s theme is “Compassion and Friendship” and special music will include gospel singers on Sunday morning and evening Mariachis to serenade the crowd to the Hilton for a final weekend ceremony and cocktail hour. This year’s event will benefit charities such as Breathe the Cure.

The three day agenda features prestigious presenters as well as practical sessions and interesting workshops alongside tons of exhibitors of healthy foods, natural products, unique gifts, and sportswear. The event will kick off with a music concert on Friday, March 1 featuring David Berkeley, Action Required Now, David Newman, The Sound and the Meaning, Josh Fletcher, Willy Collins Band and The Bhakti House Band (Latin, Indie, acoustic, and folk music).

Tickets start at the very affordable $10. The Conference is co-sponsored by Jennyoga whose owner, Jennifer Buergermeister, founded it. I’ll be interviewing her about the story of the conference, how to start a yoga practice, and much more on my occasional radio show, ONLY CONNECT: EXPLORING PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT MAKE HOUSTON GREAT on Thursday, February 28 on 90.1 KPFT-FM at 9:30am. Tune in and learn all…

GISH PICKS is a free weekly email in which I highlight family-oriented cultural events, products or services. Please note that I "highlight" events, but I don't know if they are appropriate for your particular children, so choose wisely based on age, maturity and interests. I know many of you go to events based on GISH PICKS recommendations; PLEASE remember to tell the organization that you are there because of us. Word-of-mouth like yours helps our business to grow. In the same spirit, please also feel free to share GISH PICKS with friends and families.

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The purpose of GISH PICKS is to help parents become aware of all the fun things they can do with their children in Houston and the surrounding area, so GO FIND FUN! Please do give me feedback and ideas, as you are out there in the trenches also looking for interesting things for your family and I want to hear what you find.

If you are having trouble getting to a website listed here, try hitting the "Ctrl" button and left-clicking on the web address, which should make it "live".

For more about my personal, family, and business enrichment company, Gish Creative, and the services we offer, please click here. You are on this list because I thought this e-newsletter would be helpful to you or because you signed up for it. Please feel free to tell your friends to subscribe by clicking here.
My goal is to serve as an information resource for Houston parents through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS, which is online and emailed out to thousands of parents and caregivers;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK®: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS which comes out annually in March and is sold at bookstores all over Houston, including Barnes and Noble; and

  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, and ART PROGRAMS that cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, and activism. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone/fax: 713.482.7065

© 2013 Sarah Gish

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