Click here to visit The Summer Book website
Summer Movie Fests Salsa Weekend Teen Short Flicks About GISH PICKS I Pledge Allegiance to the Earth About Gish Creative
Click here to visit the French Alliance website


Use your voice and teach your kids to use theirs! That’s my message to you this week. I recently took my Boy Scout son and 2 of his friends to City Hall so they could observe a City Council meeting and they got a lot out of seeing first-hand democracy. They learned that any Houstonian can speak at or observe a City Hall meeting – which are held every week at 1:30pm on Tuesdays (those meetings are followed on Wednesday by private ones in which City Council members generally vote on what was discussed in the Tuesday meeting). The Council Members introduced the kids and spoke about what I do in the community for families (thank you Council Member Melissa Noriega and Mayor Annise Parker for that nod!) and we felt very welcomed. The boys now know they can go back any time to discuss matters pertinent to the City and that if they want to speak, they just need to call the City Secretary Anna Russell by noon on Monday to sign up. A super easy way to get kids involved in our city is to give them the main number for Houston – 311 – and let them know that’s where they need to call for any city issues. I’ve used that number many times and the operators have always been helpful.

Another way to encourage kids to use their voice is to have them be aware of the kind of customer service they are getting and what to do if it’s not up to par. I recently flew United Airlines and received very poor customer service. However, while waiting for my flight that was delayed by seven hours (ahem), I learned about Gripevine, a website for logging grievances that are then taken directly to company leaders. I also used my voice by complaining to the staff but it didn’t do much good. In fact, it was 11:45pm when we finally boarded and they wouldn’t let a family with two young kids pre-board because of “company policy”!!! Here’s what I have to say about customer service: use your own judgment and BE KIND AND HELPFUL. It’s that simple. And if you’re not getting that kind of service, use your voice and let companies know how you feel! We vote with our dollars all day long.

I just finished up my exciting new workshop, Transitions and Transformations, which I’ll be presenting again in the fall. In the meantime, I’ll be busy this summer so check out my schedule below and come see me.

  • 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 or click on the link above.

  • 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.

Want to win a free copy of THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS? It’s easy: 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 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 29, 2012

Movie Reel


Summer = Movies and for cheap film fun, here are some summer festivals and screenings that I found for you; most of them are showing G or PG films. Check each organization’s websites for more details.

Happy Viewing!

14 Pews


Here’s another chance to catch some summer movies – ones made right here in H-town by local teens. This Friday, June 29, at 7pm, 14 Pews is hosting a film festival of shorts created by students in the “First Annual 14 Pews Film Academy. This new summer program was a FREE film workshop for at-risk students at Reagan High School. Both 14 Pews and Reagan High are located within a mile from each other in their Heights neighborhood. The goal of the Film Academy was to keep the youth of Houston engaged in positive and creative activities that will be beneficial to both the students and to the larger Houston and Heights community. Three short films will be shown by three filmmakers, starting with a film by Gabby Espinosa about education and what it means to her peers; and then a film by Cassy Puente made with Gabby about the documentary class itself and finally, Gresia Perdomo will be showing a film in which she interviews her family members about how their mother's suicide affected them, both good and bad.

Several speakers from the local film community came to speak to the students, including Bill Howze (co-producer and editor of the insightful documentary, “The Strange Demise of Jim Crow”); Alfred Cervantes (Deputy Director of the Houston Film Commission); Michael Cohn (a professional director and screenwriter with twenty years experience); Jim Barham and Bruce Bryant (both men have longtime experience in film and video and most recently made the film “For the Sake of the Song: The Story of Anderson Fair”); Larry McKee (cinematographer and producer on many films); Kenny Couch (a gaffer/grip with a passion for gadgets and fixing ancient cameras); and Brian Aichlmayr (a knowledgeable Assistant Camera (AC) with an interest to direct).

The screening is free and open to the public and takes place at 14 Pews, 800 Aurora Street.


This weekend (Friday, June 29 at 5pm until Sunday, July 1 at 10pm) enjoy “El Festival de la Salsa” ....MOCAH Style! The Museum of Cultural Arts, Houston presents “El Festival de la Salsa,” which is dedicated to promoting the production of new Salsa music, presenting new artists and their work, engaging youth in music activities while stimulating new generations of musicians; and raising funds for both educational outreach and academic music programs like that of MOCAH for the underserved and underprivileged of all ages. Featuring some of today’s top international and local performers, “El Festival de la Salsa” also seeks to promote unity, culture, diversity, and to preserve the tradition of Salsa music for future generations.

The Festival takes place at Jones Plaza, 600 Louisiana Street in downtown Houston. Tickets start at $15; click here to purchase your ticket and to support MOCAH’s educational programs.

El Festival de la Salsa
I Pledge Allegiance to the Earth


I know, it’s summer and it’s hot – who wants to be outside? Apparently, some folks in Texas do! Check out this Texas Nature Challenge that was created by Texas A&M university. The goal of the Challenge is to get families and kids outdoors by visiting as many participating parks and nature areas in Texas as they can this summer. At each site, participants complete activities designed for family fun and nature exploration. Participation prizes will be awarded at the closing ceremonies for the most sites visited, best scrapbook, best photo and more. There are challenges in different regions (none in the Houston/Galveston area right now – but you can always lobby for some!), so take the challenge if your family will be exploring Texas this summer. It’s a great way to enrich your travels.

On another note, please enjoy this “Pledge Allegiance to the Earth” poster – share it far and wide and let’s try to live by its principles! I have it hanging up for my kids as a simple reminder of our commitment to Planet Earth. The poster was created by Janina Lamb of Lamb & Lion Studio so peruse her website and see the other inspiring products she’s created. If you purchase from her, please be sure to tell her I sent you.

And, finally, a bit o’ nature is coming to Houston this weekend: The Houston Center for Photography and Trees for Houston are presenting Spin 8: Put a Tree on it” this Friday, June 29 from 5-9pm. This fun summer party will feature events all night long, with special projects for younger guests (and those young at heart), awesome hot dogs from Good Dog Hot Dog, free beer from Real Ale Brewing, great music from Gracie Chavez, a Scavenger Hunt at 5:30pm and much more. See the trees and enjoy the party at HCP’s headquarters at 1441 W. Alabama. People under 21 are free and adult tickets start at $15.

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.

Do you have something you would like to promote on Gish Picks? You can promote family-friendly events, products or services to Houstonians all over the city and the surrounding area who are active parents, involved citizens and great shoppers. We love doing this community service and want to keep it free for our readers but in order to justify the hours spent researching, writing and designing this newsletter, we need advertising support. If you'd like to learn more, please click below.

Advertise on Gish Picks!

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

Designed by West of the World

Sign up for your weekly email