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Hands-On Houston Crafts Kids' Movies at Aurora and MFAH Andrea White Book Project Houston's Junior Olympics About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative
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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!

As you may know, I love to support cultural activities – this newsletter is an example of that. I also love Houston, so back in March, I created a Facebook page, Houston Gems, to celebrate unique people, places, and things about Houston. Stop by and check out the Gems and feel free to add some of your own! This week I decided that I was tired of negativity on Facebook, so I created a public “event” called “Enjoy Life (every day).” If you’re on Facebook, you can see it here. It’s kind of a crazy idea – taking a concept (enjoying life) and turning it into an event – but it’s really caught on. Many people are not only “going to Enjoy Life” but they’re also sharing on the page HOW they enjoy life! It’s so much fun – I hope you’ll join us. And, remember, it’s not really an event – it’s a mantra!

One of the many hats I wear is as an artist. Being an artist and making art is not easy financially so I’m going to get right to the point here: I’m raising funds for an art project that will be at the Art Car Museum in the fall, so click here to learn more. No pressure here, I just wanted you to know about it in case you could help out.

Former First Lady Andrea White has a super cool online book project so read below to learn more about that. And Houston may have lost the bid for the 2012 Olympics but we have our very own Junior Olympics here right now…GO USA!

Raise your hand if you’d like a copy of THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES! Ok, never mind, I can’t see your hands but if you “Like” my GISH PICKS Facebook page by this Friday and you Facebook message me with your mailing address, I’ll pop one in the mail to you. Summer ain’t over yet, so I believe you’ll still find my book handy. I’ve got camps listed in the back by date so you can easily search for the ones available in August. And even if you don’t want a book – and you just want to help out – please “Like” my page. Thanks!

Have a great week and GO.FIND.FUN.

Events for the Weekend of August 3, 2012

Polymer Clay Magnets


This Saturday, August 4, from 11am-3pm, head on down to the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft at 4848 Main Street for artsy fun. Kids can create their own nature-inspired polymer-clay magnet, while learning about the properties of this versatile plastic clay. And they will get to watch as members of The Houston Polymer Clay Guild squish the clay through a craft pasta machine to combine different colors and create a marbled visual effect. They’ll get to choose their favorite-colored marbled slab to cut out the base of their magnet and create a collage on the surface, using polymer clay branches, leaves, flowers, etc. The creation will then be “cooked” in a small toaster oven for about 20 minutes.

While kids wait for the polymer clay to cure, families can check out the Museum’s current exhibition, Interstitial Spaces: Julia Barello & Beverly Penn, which is also inspired by nature. Families can complete a fun activity guide that includes sketching in the large gallery; then they can explore the Craft Garden, and look at all of the wonderful plants that can be used for fiber arts. After the fun exploring, families can then come back to glue a magnet to the back of the piece and take it home!

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. The Museum provides the materials, and the kids provide the creativity! Families and children of all ages are welcome. This program supports HCCC’s mission to advance education about the process, product and history of craft.

2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games


Sure, some Olympics are going on across the pond, but we here in Houston are the host of games just for kids. The 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games is the largest, national, multi-sporting event conducted annually for youth. For the first time, Houston will host the 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Games, which continue through Saturday, August 4. Approximately 15,000 participants representing the 50 states and U.S. territories will take part in 18 various sports, with AAU national champions being crowned in each one. With an estimated 30,000 spectators, the economic impact for the local host communities is estimated at over $60 million. 2,000 volunteers are needed for this prestigious, national event.

“The AAU Junior Olympic Games pride itself with the Nation’s most outstanding athletes year in and year out,” said Paul Campbell, Chairman. “This event provides a unique opportunity for youth athletes of different sports to come together. Founded in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, multi-sports organizations in the United States. A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the promotion and development of amateur sports and physical fitness programs for all ages. Over 500,000 participants and 50,000 volunteers share AAU’s philosophy of “Sports for All, Forever.”

Movie Reel


The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Aurora Picture Show are busy showing fun films on their screens, keeping kids cool in the hot summer! “Reel Kids” features two films this week, starting with The Adventures of Prince Achmed,” screening tomorrow at the MFAH at 2pm. Inspired by the Arabian Nights, this enchanting fairy tale follows the journey of a handsome prince who is tricked by a wicked sorcerer.

And this Saturday, August 4 at 11am is the “Aurora Boot Camps World Premiere,” also screening at the MFAH. Young filmmakers' visions come to life on screen at the closing screening of films made by the students enrolled in Aurora’s summer filmmaking boot camps (three sessions ages 9-12 and one session ages 13-17). Friends, fans and parents are invited to see the work of these future auteurs. This event is part of the Aurora Picture Show’s “Popcorn Kids” program. And later this month, the Aurora is hosting another “Popcorn Kids” production on Friday, August 24 at their site at 2442 Bartlett Street – the “I Can Do Anything!” film screening for kids which yours truly curated. We’ll have fun kid films and a warm up with Girls Rock Camp Houston.

All screenings listed above are free and open to the public.


Award winning children’s author and Houston’s former First Lady Andrea White, whose fascinating futuristic novels attract middle school readers, has launched a unique interactive “e-book” that gives students the rare opportunity to become “Editors for a Day.” White’s online book, entitled Time Angel, which can be found at, empowers young readers and at the same time, gives language arts teachers a simple, but elegant teaching tool and guest author/lecturer via Skype.

“It’s important for our school children to have enrichment projects despite budget cuts,” said White, who won the 2012 Middle School Spirit of Texas Award presented by the Texas Library Association. “I am donating my time, and the online text will be available for free download this fall.” In her online note to students White writes: “I have posted a draft of my new book, Time Angel. But I know I’ve made mistakes. I know you can help me tell the story better.“ White invites young readers to suggest a more creative plot, work on character development, and correct any punctuation, spelling or grammatical errors and even send illustrations.

“If your book club or class engages in this activity, I am happy to Skype with them,” White offers teachers, librarians and others whose sometimes-difficult job it is to get and keep kids reading. The first name and school name of all participating students will appear in the back of the book when it is published in the spring of 2013 by namelos publisher Stephen Roxburgh, the editor for Madeleine L’Engle and Roald Dahl, who has been involved with books for young readers for more than 35 years. White is also the author of several other books for kids, including Windows on the World, which can be purchased on

Andrea White

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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