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Bikes R Fun Polish Festival Beyond Child Focus Red Tent Retreat Arts in the Park 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 and please share!

I don’t know what reminded me of this song from my childhood, but Free to Be, You and Me” tripped across my brain this week so I thought I’d share it with you. Here’s what Marlo Thomas said about her reason for creating that song and project in 1972: while looking for suitable books for her sister’s child, “I was shocked to find that all the children's books I found reinforced old gender stereotypes of what girls and boys were supposed to be or ought to be. None of them talked about all the possibilities of what girls and boys could be.” “Free to Be, You and Me” sets out to correct that missing concept – it spawned the cd, a book, a musical, a foundation, and years of enjoyment for kids and families so I’m thinking they did their part for gender equality!

And now, on to culture: art is hitting the streets this weekend, starting with the GOD show, this year’s open call exhibition at the Art Car Museum which opens on Saturday from 7-10pm. I’ll be there with a new piece of art so stop and say howdy if you show up. We’re so lucky to have the Houston Fine Art Fair back again for a second year. This cornucopia of art from around the world in all media kicks off tomorrow night with a preview party at the Glassell School of Art; it will be open for viewing from Friday, September 14 through Sunday, September 16. Tickets range from $25-$125/person (will I see you at the VIP Preview Party?!). In the art film world, my friend Jeff Mills is working on a wonderful documentary about the historic Interstate Theatre company, “Before the Curtain Rises: The Story of a Texas Theatre Empire (Interstate was the company that founded our very own 1939 River Oaks Theatre). He’s wrapping up post-production but needs funds to get the film in the can. So if you are a preservationist and want to help with fundraising efforts, please click here. Jeff will be eternally grateful!

A lot of you took up my offer for a pair of free tickets to "Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women”; congratulations to Catherine Sanchez, Kathy Riggle, Linda Weiss, Kimberly Pacetti, LaVonne Carlson, Fran Hagler, Denise Norris, Tim Tipton, Karen Cassidy, and Heather Abadie! If you are seeing your name here and didn’t hear from me about your pass for two, please reply to this email and let me know. Many of you have messaging disabled on Facebook so there is no way to get hold of you. I’m looking for more GISH PICKS Facebook page LIKErs this week, so keep connecting there! All who play this week will be eligible to win a free copy of the cd I co-produced with family recording artist Leah White, OUR ROOTS ARE STRONG. You’ll take a musical trip through fourteen of Houston’s historic landmarks on this cd we created in honor of Houston’s 175th birthday a few years ago. Good luck!

Have a great week and GO.FIND.FUN.

Events for the Weekend of September 14, 2012


For some reason, biking and bicycles are all the rage right now. This weekend, there’s a very cool event for kids involving the two-wheeled contraption: a “Bike Rodeo” presented by Transition Houston for kids PreK-12th grade that takes place on Saturday from 9am-noon at All Saints Catholic Church, 215 East 10th Street in the Heights. The registration is free and the deadline is TODAY (September 12). After all bikes and helmets have been checked for safety, the children will ride their bikes through different challenges to learn the handling and braking skills needed for cycling for fun and transport. Families may register onsite the day of the event, but will not be guaranteed a goodie bag at the end of the course. Children should bring their working bicycle and helmet to the event.

The Houston Heights Association is hosting their 7th annual “Heights Bicycle Rally and Scavenger Hunt” on Sunday, October 7 (registration deadline is October 3). This event is not a race and is open to riders of all ages. Riders can choose between the classic 20-mile ride and scavenger hunt, or a shorter 5-mile ride and scavenger hunt for families—OR DO BOTH—starting and finishing at Marmion Park.

And, wait! There’s one more bike-related thing. I’ll be interviewing Joy Boone, founder of the not-yet-built Houston Bicycle Museum on my occasional radio show, ONLY CONNECT: EXPLORING PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT MAKE HOUSTON GREAT on Thursday, September 25, 9:30-10am on KPFT 90.1 FM. Tune in and learn about Joy’s dream to create a “place to hang your old bike.”

Arts in the Park The Woodlands


Amble on up I-45 to The Woodlands this Saturday, September 15 from 4-8pm for “Arts in the Park presented by The Woodlands Township Parks and Recreation Department. This free, family-friendly program will be held at The Lodge at Rob Fleming Park and is a chance for local artists to exhibit their work, from woodwork and pottery, to paintings, crafts and jewelry. Spectators are able to purchase the exhibited art. Entertainment is also provided from a variety of local groups and there will be a Kidzone with a moonwalk, music, maracas, and more.


Forum Polonia presents the Fourth Annual “Polish Harvest Festival (Dozynki)” this weekend (Friday-Sunday) at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church (John Paul II Polish Cultural Center), 1721 Blalock Road. The Dozynki Festival is a tradition that dates back for many centuries and is a feast to symbolize the end of harvest for the farmers. It's a celebration of happiness, good food, folk dancing, live music and Polish customs and traditions. There will be supervised and safe activities for the children; arts, crafts and gift booths; a Bier Garden; live music and dance; authentic Polish food; a Silent Auction and much more. The Harvest Festival was the most important farming festival during the year, held after the harvest was over. Originally organized by landowners for farm hands and all reapers working in the fields, it later turned into a festival held by affluent farmers and rural local government bodies. The Houston rendition will be replete with authentic activities, food, and costumes.

Admission is $5/day (children free) and the parking is free.

Polish Harvest Festival (Dozynki)
Scotty Hargrove


The Center for the Study of Natural Systems and the Family presents Scotty Hargrove, PhD on Saturday, September 22, 8:30am-4:30pm leading a conference, "Child Focus in the Family and Institutions". Once one can SEE child focus, one can see BEYOND, to work on one’s own functioning as a parent and family member, or teacher or pastor or therapist in the systems that influence children. Scotty Hargrove is a psychologist and educator who will discuss and illustrate a Bowen family systems approach to child focus and change. Attendees will observe ways that anxious parenting and child focus in institutions reinforce each other and interfere with the development of maturity while also evaluating different community programs from a new perspective. This is a conference for parents, teachers, grandparents, and community leaders alike! EVERYONE will get something out of it -- after all, family systems affect everyone.

The conference is $150 and takes place at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church Hall at 14301 Stuebner Airline Road. For registration and details, click here.


I am so very excited! I just signed up for the “Red Tent Experience” retreat that’s going to be in Wimberley, Texas the weekend of September 28. It’s a special gathering for women that’s geared towards relaxation, connection, and inner exploration. It’s open to all women, including young ones accompanied by an adult. If you’re like me, you’re one tired, stressed-out mama! Sometimes a “Calgon take me away” bath is simply not enough so I was so happy when I found this get-away. This retreat is meant to be a coming together of those who crave what they may or may not even realize they need in their lives. The attending women will learn from one another, laugh with one another, and, most importantly, take time to just BE. Several different workshops will be offered which focus on art, nature, inner exploration, and bonding with women. A sampling of topics includes “Goddess Within,” “Siren Song,” “Personal Time,” and much more. Each participant will leave with a renewed connection to themselves, the beautiful nature of Wimberley, and other women. Plus, there will also be a red bag of goodies (“Gratitude Gifts”) for all participants which are all hand chosen to go along with the theme of the retreat. Doesn’t all that sound just lovely?!

The cost is $200/person or $365/adult and young woman. Registration includes all workshops, materials, Gratitude Gifts, lodging, five meals and snacks throughout the weekend. Discounts, payments and scholarship options available. Register now as spaces are limited by clicking here.

Red Tent Experience

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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