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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!

Summer is over for many of you so I hope the kids’ first few days back in school are going well AND that you are doing the happy dance if you’re getting a much-needed break. For the rest of us, there are still several days left with kids and fun…so read below for ideas on how to fill the time. And I’ve decided to tip my virtual hat to all the moms and dads out there with two rap songs my friends shared on Facebook -- enjoy "Daddy Skills" and a classic "Mamas Rap" with Carol Burnett and Julie Edwards! We parents deserve to be acknowledged and what better way than through rap???

Tonight I’ll be the speaker at this month’s meeting of I KNOW SOMEBODY HOUSTON, a network of women that provide solutions to needs via monthly meetings. My topic is “Do What You Love, then MARKET IT!” and the meeting will be at the Central Library downtown starting at 6pm. I’ll talk for about 20 minutes and then there will be time for socializing and networking and resourcing for needs of the women in the group. I hope to see you there!

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! And recently I decided that I was tired of negativity on Facebook, so I created a public “event” called “Enjoy Life (every day).” 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!

Have a great week and GO.FIND.FUN.

Events for the Weekend of August 17, 2012



The Fort Bend Theatre and the Miller Theatre Advisory Board present a free production of “Annie” for two nights only: Thursday, August 16 and Friday, August 17, at 8pm at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Annie is a spunky orphan who is chosen to spend the holiday with millionaire Mr. Warbucks. When Annie captures the hearts of everyone in the household, Mr. Warbucks wants to adopt her but Ms. Hannigan, the orphanage's grubby overseer, hatches a plan to spoil their happiness. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts, despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. And now, alongside her signature pal dog, Sandy, she's set her sights on making us grin from ear to ear.

The performance on August 16 is closed captioned and the audio described performance is August 17.


This Friday night at 6:30pm, head over to HMNS Sugar Land for their “Family Fun Night: Rock On - Rock Star!” The museum will ROCK with the game “Rock Band” while kids can enjoy the dazzling world of geodes, gems and minerals. They’ll get to Crack a Geode, discover the different Stages of Rocks and bring home their own pet rock! The Museum will have special activities, crafts and snacks for all and the event is free and open to the public.

HMNS Sugarland offers year-round educational opportunities for students and educators such as field trips, outreach programs, teacher workshops, and educator previews. There are also tons of educational and entertaining activities for kids, families, school groups and scouts as well as programs for adults such as thought-provoking lectures, behind-the-scenes tours, cultural dining experiences and more.

The Museum is located at Highway 59 South and University Boulevard.

Family Fun Night

The Color of Life: Works by Leon and Molly Bee Collins


As summer wanes and the heat rises, I like to take my kids to exhibitions since they’re educational and indoors (hint: end the visit with an ice cream stop and the kids will love it even more!). There are a couple of shows that kids can enjoy on view right now downtown that I want to let you know about. Combine it with a ride on the rail and/or a tour of the downtown tunnel system and you’ve got yourself a great field trip!

The two exhibitions are across the street from each other: The Color of Life: Works by Leon and Molly Bee Collins” is on view through September 1 at the Central Library at 500 McKinney Avenue and Faces, Places, & Spaces” is on view at the Julia Ideson Building at 550 McKinney Avenue, also through September 1. “The Color of Life” is a delightful show of paintings by a father daughter pair that live in Navasota, Texas. Their images of cotton fields, family, and southern culture are done in an “outsider” style full of heart and color. And images of Houstonians that lived in the 1880s are featured in “Faces, Places, & Spaces” which was curated from glass plate negatives housed in the City’s archive in the Houston Metropolitan Research Center located within the Ideson Library.

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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