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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. Please enjoy!

I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.” Those are the now famous words of Jessica Renfield, one of the victims of last week’s shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Her blog has inspired people around the world to appreciate the gift of life we each are given. I’m so inspired by her words and their positive impact during such an incredible tragedy that I wanted to share them with you in case you haven’t seen them.

At this point, I normally highlight events here and there, giveaways, etc. but I’ll leave it at that. Jessica’s words moved me so much that I now carry them around with me as a reminder to appreciate what I have and to enjoy every moment. May the victims of that tragic shooting rest in peace.

And may you and your family enjoy life and all the family fun Houston has to offer! Read on for some ideas…and don’t forget to have a great week and GO.FIND.FUN.

Events for the Weekend of July 27, 2012

Bugs Bunny at the Symphony


Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” comes to The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion tomorrow, Thursday, July 26, at 8:30pm (arrive early for pre-concert activities starting at 7pm in the North Plaza). Featuring the Houston Symphony and conducted and created by Emmy Award™ winner George Daugherty, “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” is a celebration of the world's favorite Warner Bros. Looney Tunes characters on-screen with live full symphony orchestra accompaniment. The music was composed by legendary Hollywood composers Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn, as inspired by the extraordinary classics of Wagner, Rossini, Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Offenbach, Liszt, and many others. This new version of the concert celebrates the 20-year legacy of Looney Tunes and orchestral music together “in concert.”

Retaining the most indelible moments from the original production, the concert includes Chuck Jones’ inspired What’s Opera, Doc? and The Rabbit of Seville, while adding in other Warner Bros. classics like Friz Freleng’s Rhapsody Rabbit, and the virtuoso orchestral roller coaster ride of the Road Runner epic, Zoom and Bored, as well as Baton Bunny, Home Tweet Home, A Corny Concerto, Long-Haired Hare and more. Bugs Bunny is joined on-screen by his immensely popular cohorts, including Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, Pepe Le Pew, and many others. New to the concert are special guest appearances by Tom and Jerry In The Hollywood Bowl, and spectacular musical montages starring The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, and other stars from the world of Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera.

Tickets are $15 for orchestra seating. Mezzanine and lawn seating are free courtesy of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and the Lindahl Family Foundation and tickets are not required for free seating. Guests are welcome to have a picnic in their seat or on the hill at Bugs Bunny at the Symphony, keeping in mind that beverages cannot be brought into The Pavilion. Sitting on the hill? Lawn chairs also are provided free for this event! The gates open at 7pm and this event is sponsored in part by Houston Family Magazine. TM & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.; TM & © Hanna-Barbera; TM & © Turner Entertainment Co.


This Saturday, July 28 at 8:30pm, “The Wiz” is being shown on the fabu big screen at Discovery Green and I can’t wait! People in Kansas may chuckle at the notion of a cyclone carving its way through the core of the Big Apple, but tornados do strike – in fact, as recently as 2010 one came to town. Perhaps a tornado is less likely to strike during a New York snow storm, but Sidney Lumet takes his share of creative liberties with this urbanized reboot of Frank L. Baum’s classic, in which a kindergarten teacher named Dorothy (a wide-eyed Diana Ross) and her dog Toto are swept away by said cyclone to the wonderful land of Oz, which looks remarkably like lower Manhattan, circa 1978, replete with the glitz and grit of a time saturated with the sweat of polyester suits and platform shoes. La Ross, having just squished the Wicked Witch of the East, embarks on a journey to find “The Wiz” and is joined by the likes of Tin Man Nipsy Russell, Cowardly Lion Ted Ross, and a cherub-like Michael Jackson as Scarecrow. Rounding out the cast are Lena Horne as Glinda and Richard Pryor as the eponymous con-man.

The screening is free and there will be refreshments (while supplies last) and dance performances by several local companies including MECA Ballet Folklorico and Suchu Dance Company. Costumes are encouraged so come dressed as your favorite character! “The Wiz” is shown as part of the Houston Cinema Arts Society’s JULYDOSCOPE in partnership with Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) and QFest.

The Wiz

The Lion King


This Saturday, July 28 at 2pm, the first ever autism-friendly performance of a Broadway show in Houston will debut with Disney's landmark musical THE LION KING. This show is part of a new program launched by the Hobby Center, their “Lion King Autism Theatre Initiative,” which makes live theatre accessible to children on the autism spectrum and their families. Now in its 15th year, over 64 million people worldwide have come to discover the wonder, the majesty, and the truly one-of-a-kind experience that is “The Lion King.” For this special performance, accommodations will be made, including a supportive audience environment, designated quiet areas, adjustments to light and sound, and online resource materials which are available for preview purposes. The materials include social stories for both “The Lion King” performance and the experience at The Hobby Center.

Tickets for this special performance are available at reduced rates starting at $24.50 and can be purchased here. “The Lion King” will be in Houston through August 12.

The Glassell Junior School


The Glassell Junior School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, offers art classes for children ages 3–18, with after-school and weekend options as well. This fall, a variety of new classes will be offered, including the exciting lineup of Explorer classes. Explorer classes are held weekday mornings and offered to students ages 3–4 with an adult. Classes include “The Big Picture” and “Make Believe.” In addition to familiar favorites such as Drawing & Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, and Digital Art, classes are now being offered in Jewelry Making (ages 8–10) and Digital Fashion Design (ages 14–18)! The Glassell Junior School also offers Sunday afternoon workshops, including Animals and Art (adult/child) and the popular Halloween Workshop on October 28, 2012. Two new workshops in the fall lineup that are sure to be popular are Junior Fashion Designer (ages 6–8) and Chocolate Art (ages 10–12).

Fall classes are held after school Monday–Thursday, 4pm–5:15pm, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday afternoon. Classes begin September 5. For more information and the full course catalog, please click here or call 713.639.7700. To register, fill out the Junior School Registration form, found in the course catalog, and return to the school via fax, mail, or in person.

Registration for the Fall 2012 semester begins Thursday, July 26 for continuing students, scholarship students and MFAH members at the family level and above. New student registration begins Thursday, August 9. Registration for fall classes continues through September 26.

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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