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The Aurora Picture Show and I were so bummed that we had to postpone the “Popcorn Kids” program of kid films I had curated for them last week due to rain – BUT, never fear! We’ve rescheduled it to take place on Friday, August 24 in the evening – right before school starts up on the following Monday. We’ll be holding it at APS’s new space at 2442 Bartlett (inside!) since it’s air-conditioned and rainproof. Girls Rock Houston will still kick off the evening and we’ll have the I Can Do Anything!” program as planned before. Mark your calendars now and we’ll see you there!

I’m wrapping up my GABBING WITH GISH series at the Central Library downtown tomorrow, June 14, at noon – my topic is “Houston is Great – Enjoying its Art and Culture”. I’d love to see you there! I’ll be showing a snippet of a wonderful film about Houston’s history created by Houston Arts and Media called “Houston: A Nation’s Capitol, which is available for purchase online. Houston Arts and Media is a wonderful nonprofit whose mission is help filmmakers, script writers, authors, and other local talent create better and more innovative ways to teach both children and adults about history, science, literature, and the world. They truly live their mission with their “HAM Slices,” short clips of films about Houston’s history which can be viewed online and on the HISD channel. To help Houston Arts and Media continue their good works for Houston (one upcoming project is a curriculum for kids about Houston history), become a member. They’d appreciate the support.

Want to meet me at other events this summer? Check out my schedule below. I’d love to see you!

  • I’m working with the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto and presenting a workshop for middle school girls – “The Wizard of Oz is aMAZE-ing!” It’s a movie-themed workshop in which we’ll screen the 1939 classic and then spend the day using lessons from the film and connecting it to their aMAZE! journey. The cost is $20/girl and the dates are Wednesday, July 18 or Saturday, August 4, 9am-4pm. You can register by calling 713.292.0370. It’s not online yet, but will be soon.

  • If you’re looking for your purpose in life, join astrologer Kevin Casey and me on Saturday, July 21, 3-5pm, for our popular workshop “What’s Your Purpose?. We’ll spend 2 hours teaching you ways to catch your dreams and uncover who you really are, using tools from astrology as well as personal intuition. The cost is $40/person.

Big congrats to Rachel Blackney Tepper and Sarah Schellenberg. They are this week’s winners of THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS and all they did was like my GISH PICKS Facebook page! It’s easy: LIKE that page TODAY and you’ll score! I’ll send you a book as soon as I get your mailing address which you can Facebook message me or email me. 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! Speaking of exploring, 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 15, 2012

Baker Playhouse


This Saturday, June 16 from noon to 3pm, join the Heritage Society for their “Heritage Family Day”! At the Heritage Society’s Museum Gallery, kids will get to travel though the Museum Gallery to follow the Baker Playhouse on its journey through Houston from 1893 to 2010. They’ll learn about the important events occurring in Houston during this time period and hands-on activities will include playing old-fashioned children’s games and making their own Houston history booklet. The Baker Playhouse book illustrator, Bill Megenhardt, will be in the Museum Gallery to create illustrations for children about what their own playhouses might include. Entertainment will be provided by singer/songwriter Leah White, whose cd “Our Roots are Strong” contains 14 songs about historic Houston landmarks, including the Ideson Library and the Heritage Society. And from 2–3pm, over at the nearby, beautifully restored Julia Ideson Library, children’s author Andrea White and illustrator Bill Megenhardt will be in the Norma Meldrum Children’s Room will be available to sign the new book The Very Long Life of Alice’s Playhouse; A Survivor’s Story, about the c. 1893 Baker Playhouse located at The Heritage Society. There will be a reading by storytelling artists from Houston Grand Opera.

The Heritage Society Museum is located at 1100 Bagby in Houston’s first public park, Sam Houston Park. Founded in 1954, The Heritage Society is a nonprofit organization which strives to preserve the history of the community through preservation, restoration of historic structures, exhibition and educational programs. Through permanent and rotating museum exhibits, daily historic structure tours, special lectures, events and trips, children and adults are able to understand and experience life in early Houston. The museum and historic structures are open for tours Tuesday through Saturday from 10am-4pm and Sundays from 1-4pm. There is an admission charge for the historic structure tours with special rates for seniors, students and children and there is a free cell phone tour of the structures throughout the Park.

Admission to the Heritage Family Day is free. Visitors to the Society should park in the paved lot directly behind the historic Kellum-Noble House; enter the lot from Allen Parkway inbound.

Festival Ballet


“The Little Mermaid,” based on the beloved Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, will be presented by the Festival Ballet this Saturday, June 16 at 4pm. The story of “The Little Mermaid,” first published in 1837, is a fairy tale about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea for the love of a human prince. The Festival Ballet’s version is based on the original Hans Christian Andersen tale with adaptations that make it possible as a ballet, including some comedic elements that make it entertaining for the entire family.

Festival Ballet is the performing semi-professional ballet company in residence at the Academy of Ballet & Dance Arts and the Woodlands Dance Academy. As an independent nonprofit arts organization, their mission is to enlighten and entertain audiences with classical and contemporary presentations, provide performance experience for advanced level ballet students, and encourage and promote the art of dance in their community.

“The Little Mermaid” will be performed at the Lake Jackson Intermediate Forum Theater. Tickets are available here.


Virtuosi of Houston presents a free performance this Friday, June 15, 6pm at Memorial City Mall. Talented musicians aged 11-18 years old who specialize in violin, viola, or cello will be the stars of the show. The Fourth Annual Small Ensemble Summer Workshop took place weekdays from June 4 through June 15 and students worked intensively with a small ensemble while they prepared celebrated classical chamber music repertoires.

Virtuosi is dedicated to providing the highest quality music education and joining the group this year on their faculty list was Ivo-Jan Van der Werff, viola professor at Rice University and member of the world class Medici Quartet. Additional guest artists included Sophia Silivos, member of the Houston Symphony; Denise Tarrant and Suzanne LeFevre of the Houston Grand Opera; Barrett Sills of the Houston Ballet; and other world renowned performers and educators. Participating students enjoyed instrumental technique and master classes, chamber music coaching, rehearsal time, and music enrichment activities every day of the workshop. Virtuosi is proud to announce returning Enrichment faculty members; vocalist Deborah Krager who will conduct Solfeggio classes, and Anne Bogaev who is certified in the Alexander Technique. The Small Ensemble Summer Workshop always culminates in a final recital open to the public.

Virtuosi of Houston

The Resilient Soul: An Insight into the Refugee Experience


You may not know this but approximately 1.5% of refugees in the world resettle annually across the United States (264,000 in 2010), including Houston, which has a vibrant international community. I’m proud to say that Texas – and Houston – are the number one destinations for refugees seeking haven in the United States (see a recent article in the Houston Chronicle about that). I’m proud because those new U.S. citizens add to the flavor of our City and help it become the multi-cultural quilt that it is -- one where 90 languages are spoken each day.

To study how this issue impacts women, the Houston Refugee Women's Collaborative is presenting a panel discussion entitled “The Resilient Soul: An Insight into the Refugee Experience” on Tuesday, June 26 from 11:30am-1:30pm at the University of Houston’s central campus M.D. Anderson Library. Writer Claudia Kolker, recent author of the book The Immigrant Advantage: What We Can Learn from Newcomers to America about Health, Happiness, and Hope, will serve as the moderator with panelists Sophia Banu, MD (Clinic for International Trauma Survivors, Harris County Hospital District, Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Services, Baylor College of Medicine) who will speak about refugee resilience and Caitriona Lyons (State Refugee Program Coordinator, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Office of Family Services), who will speak about the refugee story. After the panel discussion, there will be a complimentary lunch and conversation at each table with resettled Houstonians.

World conflicts cause global migrations and in 2010, the UNHCR (the United Nations Refugee Agency) estimated there were 15.4 million refugees and 27.5 million people displaced within their country by war and natural disasters. While male refugees learn the language and ways of the new world fairly quickly through work and community interaction, refugee women are often isolated at home with children, still dealing with the traumas that brought them here. The HRWC works to aid their transition. “The Resilient Soul” panel will give Houstonians a sense of the refugee dynamic in Houston, both the difficulties refugees face and the strengths and skills they bring to our community.

Seating is limited, so you must RSVP by calling 713.743.3214 or emailing with “RSVP” in the subject line. A box lunch will be provided with your RSVP; please indicate meat or vegetarian.

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.

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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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