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Hands-On Crafts Heritage Society/Family Day Be a Star! Man of La Mancha Teen Night About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative
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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!

I am SOOO inspired this week! I happened to be perusing the news (ok, it was FACEBOOK but it sure seems like “news” to me…) when I happened across my friend Kate Askew’s post about her nephew, Charlie Askew, who is a top contender for “American Idol.” Now, I may be the last person on the planet to say this, but I have never watched AI. I don’t know why not – I maybe it’s because I don’t watch a lot of TV and somehow never got around to catching that show. But when I clicked on the video of Charlie below, I was mesmerized. Not only because the kid has the voice of an angel, but also because he’s a goofy, sincere, teenager. He’s someone that can give hope to those who don’t fit the mold, who follow their own drumbeat, who aren’t our culture’s standard of “cute” or “handsome” – who “glorify weirdness” as Charlie says. Another Charlie-ism? “Count on it – I can’t be anyone but myself.” May all of our children say that!

Click to view video
Click to view video

The Texas Yoga Conference is namaste-ing its way into Houston this weekend. Tune in tomorrow morning (Thursday, February 28) from 9:30-10am and listen to my conversation with Jennyoga owner and co-founder of the Conference, Jennifer Buergermeister, on my KPFT 90.1FM show “Only Connect: Exploring People and Places that Make Houston Great.” And if you’re a woman looking to transform your life and connect with like-minded souls, join me at Marti Ewing Yoga Therapy next Monday, March 4, 6-8pm for Follow Your Heart: A Transformation Circle for Women. The topic will be “Jealousy vs. Creativity: What the Heck is Holding You Back?” and I promise it’ll be inspiring. And the mike will be turned on me and my friend Mary Wilson of Live Beautifully on Teresa Maron’s Gems of Wisdom radio show today from 2-3pm (the show will be archived if you can’t catch it live). Since it’s the month of love, we’ll be talking about loving yourself, living a beautiful life, and heart-centered social media.

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

Picks for the Weekend of March 1, 2013

Hands-On Houston: Clay Ornaments with Sgraffito


This Saturday, March 2, from 11am-3pm, join the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) for “Hands-On Houston: Clay Ornaments with Sgraffito.” This month, kids will learn sgraffito, a technique used to decorate clay artwork or pottery. Sgraffito is the process of scratching through a layer of colored underglaze to reveal the natural color of clay beneath. Participants will choose from a variety of fun shapes and colors to create an ornament decorated with their own sgraffito design. After the pieces are finished, they may be left at HCCC to be fired in the kiln and picked up the following Saturday. 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. 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. (Above: Clay ornaments with sgraffito. Photos by HCCC.


Get out your swords – the Man is in town! Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is proudly producing five-time Tony Award winning masterpiece “Man of La Mancha” now through March 10 at the Hobby Center for The Performing Arts. Man of La Mancha is the epic story of swashbuckling imagination, romance, and adventure. Set amid the Spanish Inquisition, the show follows knight-errant Don Quixote in his quest for “The Impossible Dream,” (yeah, I hear you singing that right now…) along with his servant Sancho and the lovely Dulcinea, as he attempts to right all wrongs and win the heart of a good woman. The production features other memorable songs such as “To Each His Dulcinea,” “I Really Like Him,” and “Man of La Mancha.” The show is inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century masterpiece Don Quixote. Published in two volumes a decade apart, in 1605 and 1615, the book is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon.

Lucky for us, tonight (February 27) is “Teen Night on Broadway” – get your teen in free when you buy a ticket. Don’t forget to check your swords at the door!

Tickets start at only $24 and can be purchased by clicking here (use promo code “GISHPICKS” for a discount which can’t be used with the “Teen Night on Broadway” deal). The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is located at 800 Bagby Street.

Man of La Mancha
Texas Wildflowers


Hop over to the Heritage Society this Sunday, March 3, from 1-4pm for their free “Spring Fling Family Day.” Join the crew for an afternoon of old-fashioned fun and storytelling at the site of historic Sam Houston Park. Kids can hear Texas wildflower stories by Bloomin' Tales author Cherie Colburn, learn about butterflies from the Cockrell Butterfly Center, participate in nature craft activities, and tour 1823 Old Place. Yummy refreshments will be served.

The Heritage Society, a museum complex at Sam Houston Park, collects, preserves, exhibits, and celebrates the diverse history of the Houston region. Nestled in ten acres of beautiful green parkland in the heart of downtown Houston, The Heritage Society operates ten historic structures that date from 1823 to 1905. The organization exists not just to educate visitors about Houston’s interesting history but also to celebrate the diversity of the people who came together to build this world-class city.

The Heritage Society is located at 1100 Bagby Street in downtown Houston. Visitors should park in the paved lot directly behind the historic Kellum-Noble House; enter the lot from Allen Parkway inbound.


My son Matthew got into Johnston Middle School for the Performing and Visual Arts and was signed by Pastorini Bosby Talent Agency after working with acting Coach Nancy Mercado. Ms. Mercado offers private acting and audition coaching for actors of all ages and experience levels. If you're a young or adult actor auditioning for school theatre programs, plays, or film and television roles, having an acting coach really improves your audition and performance. One of Nancy’s specialties is successfully coaching young actors who are interested in auditioning for talent agency representation. Nancy is an experienced actor, director, screenwriter and playwright and I highly recommend her! To schedule acting coaching lessons or for more information, please contact 713.213.3490 or

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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