Click here to visit ABC School of Music's website
InPrint's Cool Brains VIDEO PICK: Compassionate Videos by Kids Hot Peas and The Snow Queen About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative FotoFest Fun
Click here to visit Miller Outdoor Theatre's website


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 time to start getting organized for summer, so I was happy to have my annual chat about camps this week with Courtney Perna and Debra Duncan on KHOU-TV’s Great Day Houston – see that interview here. And be sure to check out THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS, a guide I’ve been producing since 2003. It’s the largest and most accurate online searchable database 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…

Earth Day is coming up next Friday, April 22 but we like to get a jump on it here in Houston so we are celebrating this Saturday, April 16 in Sam Houston Park (Houston’s oldest one!) – click here for all the deets.

In honor of “Houston Compassion Week” (through April 16), my VIDEO PICK is actually two videos that have been created by kids that focus on compassion, called “What would the world be without compassion?” and “Cultural Day.” Enjoy!

Click to view video 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 15-17, 2016

Kate DiCamillo; Raymie Nightingale


I love it when my kids can interact with authors directly – it brings the pages of their books to life. So I highly recommend the series Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People,” which this Sunday, April 17 at 3pm is presenting two-time Newbery Medal winner and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Kate DiCamillo, reading from her new novel Raymie Nightingale. The doors open at 2:30pm and you can see all the details here. Named the 2014-2015 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress, DiCamillo is the beloved author of many award-winning books, including The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which was a #1 New York Times best seller; the Newbery Medal-winning The Tale of Despereaux (made into an animated feature film); The Magician’s Elephant; the Newbery Honor Book Because of Winn-Dixie (made into a feature film); the National Book Award finalist The Tiger Rising; and the Mercy Watson and Bink & Gollie series.

DiCamillo comes to Houston to share her new middle-grade novel Raymie Nightingale which centers on the unlikely friendship of three girls whose challenges bring them together. School Library Journal, in a starred review, writes, “In short, precisely crafted chapters, DiCamillo once again demonstrates her ability to create unique characters that touch readers’ hearts …. Poignant, insightful, and ultimately uplifting.” The Huffington Post says, “Fans will recognize DiCamillo's unique wry voice as it gives readers vivid images, dizzying ideas, humor, heart-wrenching emotions, and gorgeous, gorgeous language.”

The reading takes place at Houston Independent School District’s Johnston Middle School, 10410 Manhattan Drive, 77096. Admission is free and open to the public. In addition to reading from and talking about her work, Ms. DiCamillo will take questions from the audience and participate in a book signing, giving children a chance to meet the author. Books will be available for sale at the event through Blue Willow Bookshop.

Hot Peas 'n Butter


Miller Outdoor Theatre hosts many different performing arts groups onstage, including special children’s performances at 11am on weekdays – I encourage you to check them out all season long! This Friday, April 15, A.D. Players will be wrapping up their show at Miller, “The Snow Queen” -- the Hans Christian Anderson tale of Gerta and her best friend, who is taken by the powerful Snow Queen. As Gerta embarks on an unforgettable adventure to save him, she realizes along the way that anyone can be a hero – even a small, shy, sensitive child like her. In addition to presenting their children’s shows, the folks at A.D. Players have been busy otherwise: they’ve got a full season of shows on their home stage, they’re gearing up for summer camps, and they’re building a gorgeous new theatre near the Galleria (click here for more about that).

Next week, on Tuesday, April 19 at 11am, check out this show by Hot Peas ‘N Butter, the NYC-based multicultural family music band, known for their Latin-influenced, catchy songs for kids. They’ve been featured on Nick Jr. and Jack’s Big Music Show TV, partnered with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, won multiple Parents’ Choice Awards, gotten national radio play, and brought many thousands of fans to their feet on their national tours. Their unique brand of engaging music incorporates tasty beats and catchy melodies, designed to delight, entertain and educate young audiences. By combining an interactive, invigorating approach to performance with mature, multicultural music, Hot Peas 'N Butter has developed a distinct way of inspiring care and creativity in kids and adults alike.

All shows at Miller Outdoor Theatre are free and open to the public.

FotoFest FotoFun Family Day


In case you haven’t noticed, the FotoFest 2016 Biennial of Photography and New Media Art has come to town. It’s a Houston-based and -created international celebration of photography that features hundreds of exhibits across town (including one by yours truly!) as well as curated exhibits that are the centerpiece of the Fest. There is a “FotoFun Family Day” each Biennial to engage youth and families in the community during the FotoFest. This free day of creative fun will take place Sunday, April 17, from noon until 4pm, in FotoFest’s Silver Street Studios exhibition space, located at 2000 Edwards Street. This festive event of art and learning will feature a full, diverse menu of activities enabling visitors of all ages to create original works of art while exploring their relationship to the natural world: visitors will make art from recyclables with FotoFest and The Texan French Alliance for the Arts; Writespace will host children’s book readings from authors inspired by the Earth; Edible Earth Resources will showcase edible gardening techniques, including how visitors can plant seeds of their own; the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition will have friendly Texas animals for visitors to meet; other activity partners include Artist Boat, The Buffalo Bayou Partnership, The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, The Houston Museum of Natural Science, The Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees (PAIR Houston), and Young Audiences of Houston. Along with these exciting activities, visitors may enjoy free refreshments, dance to the tunes of a live DJ, meet amazing giant puppets created by Puppet Pizzazz, and explore the photographic art of the FotoFest 2016 Biennial.

The FotoFest 2016 Biennial, entitled “CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES: Looking at the Future of the Planet,” is focused on humanity’s relationship with the changing planet. The Biennial features a series of visual art exhibitions, videos, films, books and educational programs with over 30 leading international artists, scholars, and environmental experts. Most exhibits will be on view through the end 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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