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Art Car Parade VIDEO PICK: Houston Slam Poets Compassion Week Kick-Off About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative National Poetry Month
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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 in which I cull from the loads of activities in our city and pick three weekend events (“PICKS”) to recommend to parents, caregivers, and educators all over Houston. I’m a mom and am always looking for cultural – yet FUN! – events for my family and I am so happy to share them with YOU.

My business grows by word of mouth so please enjoy the events and please share this blog. And be sure to tell the organizations you visit that you heard about them from me. And if you’re in Facebooklandia, please sidle over there and like our GISH PICKS Facebook page and share it with your friends and family and elsewhere on social media, too. Don’t want to miss any posts? Click on the drop-down LIKE button and then check “See First” under “In Your Newsfeed.” Thanks!

It’s another busy weekend in H-Town so get your running shoes on! The biggest event – the one that makes Houston Houston and that rocks the world since we’re home to the largest art car community everywhere – is the Art Car Parade this Saturday, April 9 at 2pm. Check out my write-up below for more details. Two other events to check out this weekend are the Houston Music, Peace, and Justice Festival this Saturday, April 9, 2-9pm and two events presented by the Council on Recovery – “An Evening with Lisa Miller & Workshop for Clinicians” this Friday and Saturday.

It’s time to start getting organized for summer, so be sure to check out THE THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS. It’s the largest and most accurate guide in Houston and you’re gonna love it when looking for camps! And, best of all, you can surf it from anywhere – while at the beach, when the kids are asleep, while in the carpool line…

This week’s VIDEO PICK is all about the poetry in honor of National Poetry Month. A group of teens, under the direction of one of my favorite slam poetry teachers, Emanuelee “Outspoken” Bean, presented their rhymes at Houston’s City Hall for the “Final Four” conclusion. What a way to represent! Enjoy this video by my friend Sara Selber and learn how basketball is really an analogy for LIFE.

Click to view video
Click to view video

Have a great week, love one another, please share this, and GO.FIND.FUN.

Picks for the Weekend of April 8-10, 2016

Sarah Gish and her Phoenix Rising Art Car


This Saturday, April 9 at 2pm is one of my favorite events of the year – the Houston Art Car Parade – which is organized by the hard-working folks at the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. This year marks the 29th annual celebration of wild wheels, hosted by the city with the most art cars in the world! There will be nearly 250 jaw-dropping cars, bikes, skaters, and motorized creatures rolling along Smith Street in downtown Houston, making it the largest gathering of its kind in the world, and one of the biggest annual events in Houston. IMPORTANT NOTE: there is a new route this year – click here to see the downtown-only map. The route is temporary due to construction on Allen Parkway.

The cars will be parked along it starting at 10am so come early, stroll, and meet the artists – and stake out a place to watch the festivities. There will be delish food and drink vendors scattered throughout the parade route to quench your thirst and fill your belly, so bring some cash. I’ll be in my Phoenix Rising Art Car as car #226, so come visit us!

By the way, if you’re looking for a way to connect your kids with art cars in a meaningful way, get the cute new book Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car by Houstonian Cathey Nickell. It’s inspirational and fun and it shows the connecting power of art and especially art cars. You can order the book here.

Compassion Week 2016


Houston's 2nd annual Compassion Week kicks off this Sunday, April 10 from 2-5pm with a free, family-friendly celebration at the historic Water Works at Buffalo Bayou Park, located at 105 Sabine Street, 77007. Bring the whole family to enjoy a celebration of compassionate culture in Houston including live music, dance and slam poetry performances, games, face-painting, labyrinth walking, a Meditation Station, virtual reality demos, and more!

There are so many things you can do! Enjoy performances by Lisa E. Harris, Unity Choir, Danza Azteca, MetaFour Houston, Urban Souls, the Matki Band, a Dholi drummer and more. Check out Drone Force Studios' virtual reality set-up, walk a labyrinth created with food donated for the Houston Food Bank (and bring some non-perishable goods to contribute.) Cultivate some mindfulness in the Meditation Station. Play giant Jenga or Connect-Four with Houston Sports and Social Club. Get your face painted by talented volunteers from The Chinquapin School. 50 different organizations who do compassionate work in Houston will be on hand to share information about what they do and they'll have a schedule of compassionate service and learning opportunities going on throughout the week.

For the full schedule, to learn more about Compassion Week 2016 and the nonprofit presenter, Compassionate Houston, click here.

National Poetry Month


It’s “National Poetry Month” and a perfect time to get kids interested in crafting words in unusual ways, an important practice in these days of over-testing and under-imagining. Writers in the Schools is one of my favorite orgs “where words fly” with kids and they’ve cooked up a bunch of poetry-related activity; the list is below. And in case you’re wondering, here are my two favorite poems for adults – Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda and Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver. And if Shel Silverstein’s writings qualify as poems, I adore his book Where the Sidewalk Ends for kids.

And now... National Poetry Month fun presented by Writers in the Schools – for more details on the events below, visit their website.


  • 2016 Space City Poetry Slam Series continues now through April 24 as teen poets, rappers and writers compete to for a chance to join the Meta-Four team and represent Houston at Brave New Voices in Washington, D.C. For a complete list of upcoming slams, click here.

  • 2016 Orbit Slam Series: Free writing and performance workshops take place at MECA Houston (1900 Kane St.) and Discovery Green (1500 McKinney St.) from 6:30-8pm. Students ages 13-19 are welcome. No registration is required.

  • Poetry on the Plaza—(April 8, 6-10 pm): WITS young poets will compete against adult poets during an interactive poetry slam on the Navigation Esplanade. This event, hosted by the East End Foundation and Greater East End Management District, will feature poetry and newly installed poet-trees as part of the open air market.

  • Night WrITerS – (April 13): Free creative workshops hosted by WITS writer, Emanuelee “Outspoken” Bean. Open to adult writers of all skill levels. Located at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop from 6-8pm.

  • Space City Slam Series Finale – (April 24): Six of Houston’s top teen poets, rappers and writers will be chosen to represent the city in the Annual Brave New Voices International Festival as members of the WITS Meta-Four Houston team. Meta-Four encourages self-expression and literacy among Houston’s youth through slam poetry, creative writing and performance. Event will take place at Discovery Green in downtown Houston.

  • H-E-B stores locations at San Felipe, Montrose, Bunker Hill and Buffalo Speedway will delight shoppers with a dynamic display of student poetry throughout the month of April.

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: A GUIDE TO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES, which is online and emailed out to thousands of parents and caregivers;

  • SPIRIT PICKS: A GUIDE TO INSPIRING ACTIVITIES IN HOUSTON, which is online and emailed out to seekers all over Houston;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE, a searchable database of over 200 Houston day camps and classes for kids and teens;

  • IGNITE YOUR LIFE!, an art project and community campaign whose goal is to inspire people around the world to light a match to their own passion;

  • INTUITIVE GUIDANCE SESSIONS, which are one-on-one consultations with me at Body Mind & Soul on personal and/or work questions. Sessions are one hour or thirty minutes;

  • Bi-monthly “WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?” workshops at Body Mind & Soul, check the store’s online calendar for dates and more information; and

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

Sarah Gish
Sarah Gish
(Photo: Two Birds Photography)

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2016 Sarah Gish

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