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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 this week and you’ll be eligible to win FOUR HOURS of free childcare any upcoming Friday or Saturday night (7-11pm) at Discover Gymnastics. On your mark, get set, LIKE! Big congrats to last week’s winner – Nina Friedman Neish – who won tickets to this weekend’s women’s rugby match. She also won an opportunity to highlight her “Silly Kid PICK” – be sure to check it out this week, both here and on GISH PICKS. If you have a silly kid pic, email it to me and I’ll put it in this e-newsletter and on our GISH PICKS Facebook page when I have room. I love seeing your silly kids while I’m enjoying mine!

It’s National School Choice Week and Houston is celebrating this Saturday, February 3 at 2pm with a “Rally For School Choice” at YES Prep at 10535 Harwin Street. Also in honor of this week, my son’s school, Johnston Middle School, is showcasing their drama, dance, art, and music tomorrow night (Thursday, January 31) from 5:30-7pm – I promise you it’ll be a good show! And in other education news, I’m so happy to report that the City of Houston’s new activity book for kids, Houston Lives On: An Adventure in Historic Preservation, is available for free download, along with an excellent teacher’s study guide. Kids will get to follow an inquisitive ant, Squeak, and his Aunt Lucy as they traverse Houston learning about the importance of preservation. To say that this book is near and dear to my heart is an understatement! I’m very proud of it and am so happy that for the first time, we have a fun book that will inspire kids to save our city’s history. Houston Lives On: An Adventure in Historic Preservation is the culmination of many hours of hard work by the education sub-committee of the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission.

Have a great week, be kind to each other, and GO.FIND.FUN.

Picks for the Weekend of February 1, 2013

Ceramic Tea-Light Holders


Please join the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft/HCCC () this Saturday, February 2, 11am-3pm, for HANDS-ON HOUSTON. This month, artist and educator, Janis Fowles, will teach the basics of clay slab construction and coil building. Participants will create their own ceramic tea-light holders, embellishing their pieces with texture and adding color with underglaze. After the pieces are finished, they may be left at HCCC to be fired in the kiln and picked up the following Saturday. The tea-light holders make great Valentine’s gifts!

Before or after the activity, check out three new exhibits at HCCC: the 2013 NCECA Biennial features incredible ceramic art by national and international artists, Constructing Solitude features theatrical handmade headdresses, and "Roughneck" features ceramic art by Houston-area artists.

HANDS-ON HOUSTON is a free craft-activity open house on the first Saturday of every month at 4848 Main Street. Each month, a teaching artist demonstrates a craft related to the current exhibitions. Families and children of all ages are welcome, and materials are provided. This program supports HCCC’s mission to advance education about the process, product and history of craft. (photo courtesy HCCC)

A Wrinkle in Time


One of my fave books as a kid was Madeleine L'Engle’s classic, trippy time traveling novel, A Wrinkle in Time. So I was happy to see that it’ll be on stage for the next few weeks at Main Street Theater with weekend family performances on Saturdays at 1pm and 4pm this Saturday, February 2 through Saturday, February 16. On a “dark and stormy night”, Meg Murry and her little brother Charles Wallace set out on a voyage through space and time to rescue their father during which they encounter three eccentric sisters, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit, as well as a host of other strange adventures. Madeleine L’Engle’s classic fantasy adventure tells an inspiring tale of self discovery and great courage and is recommended for kids third grade and up.

A Wrinkle in Time takes place at Main Street Theater’s Chelsea Market location at 4617 Montrose Boulevard. Tickets start at $12 and there are discounts for groups. There are school matinees through February 15; to make reservations, please call 713.524.9196 x101.

Mercury Family Concert


Vivaldi's Four Seasons is the featured line-up in Mercury’s “Annual Family Concert” this Saturday, February 2 at 10:30am at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. This orchestral concert for children and their families will explore the instruments of the orchestra and how Vivaldi used them to create the voices and sounds of nature. It’s an excellent way for families to experience one of the most popular compositions ever written in this concert designed with kids in mind! The presentation features one of my favorite artists, Ana Treviño-Godfrey, as the narrator with Jonathan Godfrey on solo violin and Mercury co-founder and Artistic Director Antoine Plante as conductor. Mercury was formerly called Mercury Baroque.

Tickets are adults/$25 and kids/$10.


“Anyone can do yoga,” says my friend and Yoga teacher Marti Ewing. Marti's specialty is Recuperative Style Hatha Yoga, which empowers people to not be defined by their limitations. She has worked successfully with people suffering from injury or illness by offering modifications to traditional Yoga poses and her clients have included pain patients, cancer patients, Parkinson’s patients, and those suffering from anxiety as well as athletes who are cross training since Yoga reduces the risk of injury while increasing agility.

I have gone to her classes and they are appropriate for all levels and body sizes and are not just for those with injuries. In fact, Marti works with anyone seeking a more gentle approach to Yoga -- each class is designed to balance every joint structure in your body with a gentle focus on balance, posture, alignment, and breath. Marti describes her classes as preventative medicine focusing on slower movements that lower blood pressure and cultivate present moment awareness. I leave the studio blissfully peaceful every time!

Marti Ewing Yoga Therapy is in the heart of Montrose and is a great alternative for those seeking to learn Yoga in a more intimate setting. Group and private lessons are available as well as Yoga for families (a great way to bond with the kids!). Group classes are $12 per class and discounts are available. Classes are offered Mondays from 4:30-5:30pm; Tuesdays from 7:30-8:30pm; Wednesdays from 6-7pm; Fridays from 1:30-2:30pm; and Sundays from 2-3pm.

Marti Ewing

Fresh Arts presents Ball 'n Chain


Two of Houston's most dearly beloved arts organizations, Fresh Arts and Spacetaker, walked down the aisle awhile back to become one awesome organization, Fresh Arts, but they decided to celebrate in a bigger way this Friday, February 1, 8-11pm at the Winter Street Studios. Their annual gala, Ball ‘n Chain”, honors the contributions of four of Houston’s most respected and passionate arts advocates: George Lancaster; Mathew Dirst (Ars Lyrica); Sixto Wagan (DiverseWorks); and Rich Levy (Inprint). The event is co-chaired by Eleanor & Dan Gilbane, Jennie & Justin Segal, and Mark Sullivan.

Four different wedding-themed areas on the second floor of Winter Street Studios will feature more than 400 Bridesmaids, Odd Couples, Bridezillas, and a whole host of creative costumers in the year’s most unforgettable wedding reception that features a lifestyle and fine art silent auction, burlesque, live music, dancing, great food, fabulous cocktails, and some pretty wild surprises.

Tickets start at $100 and Winter Street Studios is located at 2101 Winter Street, on the edge of downtown Houston.

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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