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I feel empowered today! I just got back from the wonderful Mountainfilm in Telluride film fest and after seeing documentary films about the environment (CHASING ICE, TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM, and LIVING DOWNSTREAM), reconciliation after war (FAMBOL TOK), and art (DELTA BLUES and SCRAMBLEVISION), I am moved and enlightened and ready to step up my activist game. We’ll be bringing Mountainfilm to Houston again next February 22 and 23, so mark your calendars now and plan to join me in changing the world! My biggest concern these days is climate change so I wanted to let you know about a couple of eco-kid organizations that you might want to get involved with or start at your kids’ schools: Kids for Saving Earth and Kids vs. Global Warming. I learned about Kids vs. Global Warming when I saw the film TRUST this weekend at Mountainfilm; it’s the inspiring story of a teenager who founded a nonprofit and filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government for not protecting our natural resources. We need to save the planet so it will be there for our kids and generations to come so I hope you’ll join me in doing what you can. An easy way to begin is to limit your use of plastic bags and plastic water bottles. Los Angeles recently became the largest U.S. city to do so (click here for the story) and I plan to encourage Houston’s City Council to follow suit.

Summer begins this week (gasp!) so I want to recommend a couple of movies about parenting to help you laugh through the first days of summer – check ‘em out after the kids are in bed! I watch the hilarious Steve Martin movie PARENTHOOD at least once a year. And I stumbled across the film MOTHERHOOD when asked to preview it for my GISH AT THE MOVIES column. “Must a woman’s soul wither and die simply because she opted to become a mother? I want to finish the laundry AND a complex sentence, to think tantalizing deep thoughts, and throw a magical birthday party for my daughter. Is that truly too much to ask?” says Uma Thurman, who stars as the frazzled mom. If you can relate, you’ll love this movie! And speaking of movies, plan to join me next Friday, June 8 at dusk at Discovery Green for a presentation by the Aurora Picture Show of a film screening I put together featuring shorts for, by, and about kids. The “I Can Do Anything!” film screening opens with music by Girls Rock Houston and will be a blast, I promise!

Want to win a free copy of THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS? Like my GISH PICKS Facebook page TODAY and you’ll score! I’ll send you a book as soon as I get your mailing address. I’ll be doing this throughout the summer, so stay tuned for announcements here and be sure to check your Facebook message box to see if you’re a winner.

I’m still posting (almost) daily about “Houston Gems” – places, people, and things that make Houston great – so follow me on twitter ( or “like” my HOUSTON GEMS Facebook page to learn about cool Houston. All my past gems are archived on twitter (search for #houstongems) and on the Facebook page, so you can grab them and EXPLORE! And I know you’ll be looking for more fun field trip ideas for your family, so check out my ATTRACTIONS page on my website. There’s no excuse not to get out there and see the wide world of Houston!

Have a great week and GO.FIND.FUN.

Events for the Weekend of June 1, 2012

Metallic Brooches


This Saturday, June 2, from 11am-3pm, kids can join M’kina Tapscott, local artist and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) employee, who will teach kids how to create a beautiful brooch using the traditional metalworking techniques of repoussé and chasing. Repoussé involves hammering a design on the reverse side of a metal sheet to form a raised surface on the front. Chasing, the reverse technique, involves pushing the negative spaces of the design back, to add depth and make the raised surface stand out. Participants will use soft metal and safe tools, so the entire family can become familiar with this technique. Kids will then add color and a pin on the back to transform their art piece into a metallic brooch to wear and take home.

For design inspiration, visit HCCC’s new exhibitions opening the same day. The large gallery exhibition, Interstitial Spaces, features a collaborative installation by Julia Barello and Beverly Penn, two artists with a background in metalsmithing who explore negative space in their work.

HANDS-ON HOUSTON is a free craft-activity open house on the first Saturday of every month at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Each month, a teaching artist demonstrates a craft related to the current exhibition; the museum provides the materials and the kids provide the creativity! Families and children of all ages are welcome and no registration is required as this is a drop-in event. This program supports HCCC’s mission to advance education about the process, product and history of craft.

Rienzi Storytime


Children are welcome at Rienzi for tales and tours on Wednesdays in June and July! This summer, introduce children to the magic of art and literature in an intimate house museum setting. Rienzi hosts Storytime tours every Wednesday in June from 10-10:30am starting Wednesday, June 6 and continuing in July on July 11 and 18. Rienzi’s Storytime Tour is a fun and interactive activity featuring stories related to themes highlighted in the Rienzi collection. Families are encouraged to bring a lunch and picnic in the Rienzi Gardens following Storytime tours.

Admission is free, but reservations are required as space is limited. Please call 713.639.7800 to reserve your child's spot. Tours are geared for children ages 3+. Rienzi, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, house museum for European decorative arts, is located at 1406 Kirby Drive. Free parking is available at Rienzi and on Lazy Lane in River Oaks. For more information on Rienzi, please call 713.639.7800 or click here.

Live Oak Trees


You know I love Houston and its history, so I’m pleased as punch to let you know about a cool event honoring Houston’s 175th birthday. This Friday, June 1, from 6:30-8:30pm at 14 Pews, Leah White and the Magic Mirrors are premiering a short musical film, LIVE OAK TREES. This rockin’ song is from the cd I co-produced with Leah, OUR ROOTS ARE STRONG. The film follows Leah and her band as they sing and visit historic landmarks. Check her out talking on GREAT DAY HOUSTON about the event and also a cool scavenger hunt she’s organized. Appearances in this film are Mayor Parker, TV personalities Dominique Sachse, Debra Duncan, Ned Hibberd, Houston Texan football players and yours truly in my art car – plus many more notable Houstonians! Leah and her band will be performing live during the party.

The same night kicks off a SCAVENGER HUNT and TOUR of the 14 Houston landmarks that are featured in songs on the cd as well as sites around town. The scavenger hunt is explained fully here but basically, you start by purchasing a passport with a QR code either from Cactus Music or from the OUR ROOTS ARE STRONG website. Then it’s time to GO visit the sites! Families are encouraged to go to each of the landmarks and prizes are given out based on the number of sites you’ve visited. And throughout the summer and fall, Leah and her band will be performing at the historic landmarks. What a great way to explore Houston’s history.

Retreat in the Jungle


I love my massage therapist; she is truly a healer! Kelly Smith, RMT, delivers a massage designed to release tight muscles with her signature deep tissue work which will completely relax you. Says Kelly, “Many deep tissue massages are not relaxing and conversely many “relaxing massages” don’t get to specific problem areas.” Her Flagship massages are designed to give you the best of both worlds!

Kelly also offers healing sessions that include Reiki with light massage and intuitive feedback. These sessions are for clearing blocked energy, life coaching, and rejuvenation. You will experience “Support & Empowerment” and be returned with your natural sense of well-being, ready to take action that is aligned with who you truly are and what your life is truly about.

It’s easy to book the massages online and you can even send a link to the website to ask your spouse for a gift certificate (click here for that!). Kelly and I both believe in the Mind/Body/Spirit balance and getting regular massages is part of that equation.

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, business, and family 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

© 2012 Sarah Gish

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