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Hands-On Houston Fourth of July Roundup Refugee Art About GISH PICKS Blue Star Families About Gish Creative
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Happy Freedom Day! I love the Fourth of July and have been enjoying seeing how my friends are already celebrating around the country on Facebook. This year I delved a little deeper at the urging of my dear friend Kalyani Giri because she was publishing a new mag, HUM, and wanted me to write about what freedom means to me personally. Please enjoy the result in my article titled “Let Freedom Ring (within)”.

It’s our nation’s birthday (236 years and counting…) so what will you do in H-town? Check out my round-up below and don your best red, white, and blue outfit and have fun with your family! By the way, my friend Nicole Bruder, owner of Lucy Goo Pet Sitting encourages everyone to remember to take care of their dogs since many are freaked out by loud noises such as fireworks. It’s something I’ve never thought about, but I am grateful for the advice since we have a dog that takes cover under our bed at the slightest hint of a storm.

Thanks to my letter to all of you a few weeks ago which had an image of one of my chakra pieces of art, I now have a show of my hubcap-based “Mod Mandalas: Chakra Series” at 14 Pews that will open on Thursday, September 6 and will be on view for 6 weeks. We’ll have some ancillary programs with the show (such as kid yoga), so stay tuned. In the meantime, I’ll be busy this summer so check out my schedule below and come see me somewhere along the way.

  • I’m presenting a workshop for middle school Girl Scouts – “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.

  • On Friday, August 24 at 7pm at the Aurora Picture Show (2442 Bartlett Street), we’ll be hosting the rain date, inside showing of the “Popcorn Kids I Can Do Anything!” film screening. The program was curated by moi and features Girls Rock Camp Houston as the opening act and about an hour of unique films by, for, and about kids. Join us!

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 July 6, 2012


This Saturday, July 7, from 11am-3pm, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft () presents “HANDS-ON HOUSTON: Chinese Paper Lanterns.” Kids will get to create their own Chinese lantern! The use of Chinese lanterns dates back more than 2,000 years. Lanterns were traditionally made from rice paper and bamboo and contained a light source. There are many legends that explain the possible reason that Chinese lanterns were developed but, today, they are used for decorative purposes to celebrate many aspects of Chinese culture. There’s even a Chinese Lantern Festival! Judith Shamp, local artist and HCCC volunteer, will show participants how to use paper to construct individual lantern decorations. The lanterns can be adorned with a variety of materials, such as ribbon, to add an attractive finish. HCCC will present another Chinese craft activity for Asia Society Texas Center’s Family Day on Sunday, July 15. Free Admission vouchers for that event will be passed out during HANDS-ON HOUSTON at HCCC on July 7.

HANDS-ON HOUSTON is a free craft-activity open house on the first Saturday of every month. Each month, a teaching artist demonstrates a craft related to the current exhibitions. They provide the materials and you provide the creativity! Families and children of all ages are welcome, and materials are provided. This program supports HCCC’s mission to advance education about the process, product and history of craft.

This month’s HANDS-ON HOUSTON activity was organized in partnership with Asia Society Texas Center to celebrate the opening of their fantastic new building in the Museum District. The Craft Museum is located at 4848 Main Street.

Chinese Lanterns
Weaving Home


The fourth of July is about celebrating what makes our country great and part of what makes it great are the immigrants that have been landing on our shores since Ellis Island days. And immigrants have made up a large and rich part of our city (90 languages are spoken here daily!). So I thought it fitting to highlight an exhibition celebrating one of our refugee communities.

The Houston Arts Alliance has a wonderful Folklife & Traditional Arts Program which is focused on promoting and presenting the lively cultural traditions of our city’s diverse neighborhoods and communities, to explore and highlight the contemporary traditions that make Houston one of the most vibrant urban landscapes in the United States.

Their latest exhibition, “Weaving Home”, is on display in their Alliance Art Gallery and focuses on the textile traditions practiced by a group of Houston-based women from the Karenni ethnic community. Houston’s Karenni are originally from the mountainous border region of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) that abuts Thailand. The objects they weave – bags, skirts, capes, etc. -- are for functional use and everyday adornment. The Karenni weavers of Houston have been assisted by a local program known as The Community Cloth. As a result, several of the women in the community have re-purposed their weaving skills by turning their craft to the creation of scarves, table runners, and other objects attractive to Western consumers. This adaptation works to preserve the art form and to sustain the community culturally and economically.

The Alliance Art Gallery is located at 3201 Allen Parkway, home to the Houston Arts Alliance, Stages Repertory Theatre, and many other arts orgs. The Gallery is open Tuesdays-Fridays from 3-5pm and HAA is hosting a “World Refugee Day Reception” tomorrow night (Thursday, July 5) from 5:30-7pm.

Freedom Over Texas


Our city is brimming with all kinds of fun for families this patriotic day so grab your colors and rock and roll wherever your desires lead you. Instead of listing all the events, check them out here , courtesy KTRK-TV. Thanks for the help, guys!

Blue Star Museums


The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston sent me a notice that they are one of more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer through a program called “Blue Star Museums,” a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 1,500 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available here.

Blue Star Museums is a great way to show thanks to military personnel and is open to active, reserve, and retired military personnel and their spouses, who can continue to take advantage of half-off general admission tickets year-round at the MFAH.

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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