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ROCO Concert The Velveteen Rabbit Glassell Junior School Spring Classes The Music Man About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative Families Empowered Expo
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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. My business grows by word-of-mouth from people like YOU!

Whew! My head is spinning with the frenzy of activities I hear about and experience. It’s that time of year when I can count on 1) traffic to increase around the Galleria and 2) busy-ness to rule my days and nights. To combat the overwhelmed feeling I’m having, I’ve decided to try to practice “mindful living” in a more conscious way, inspired by the examples of wise ones such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. It seems to be working: my anxiety level has decreased! If you’re looking for some guidance in leading a more productive and less anxious life, I recommend a couple of workshops that are coming to Pearland this weekend: for the kids, there is the Youth Leadership Workshop this Saturday, November 17, 9am-3pm and for adults, an Inner Transformation Workshop this Sunday, November 18, 9am-3pm. Here’s another suggestion for letting loose and enjoying life: join the Ecstatic Dance Community on Sunday mornings from 10am-noon and let it go, let it flow. And if you’d like to join my Enjoy Life” online-only party on Facebook, we’d love to have you! Attendees don’t meet up anywhere, we simply hop on the event page and chronicle how we are enjoying life. It’s a great reminder to do just that.

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be bringing back my special WONDERFUL ME “playshop” for kids 8 years old and up. Drop off the children while you shop in Highland Village and the kids and I embark on a voyage of self-exploration through art, discussions, and fun. It’s only $40 and your child will go home with a beautiful self-portrait incorporating a photo of them taken by me and a better understanding of who they are and what they are passionate about. Register today with Body Mind & Soul; the playshop is Saturday, December 8 from 10am-noon.

If you can believe it, I’m gearing up to create the next edition of THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS! I’m also getting ready to promote winter camps for kids and a holiday gift guide for families. If you have anything you’d like to promote relevant to those projects, please contact me via email or call me at 713.492.1173.

Congrats to new GISH PICKS like-er Melanie Biggar Scalley, who won the copy of the movie I AM, a film whose message emphasizes compassion over competition. This week’s winner will get two free passes to Planet Funk Academy, which offers a lively Saturday morning’s kids’ Hip Hop class as well as a slew of other funky dance ed. To win these passes, head to Facebook land, find GISH PICKS, and hit LIKE. I’ll pick a winner from my new fans so good luck! (P.S. While you’re in Facebook land, please like my page for THE SUMMER BOOK: A GUIDE TO HOUSTON DAY CAMPS AND CLASSES FOR KIDS AND TEENS. Many thanks!).

Have a great week, be kind to others, and GO.FIND.FUN.

Picks for the Weekend of November 16, 2012


River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) welcomes its 40 all-star musicians, guest conductor Edwin Outwater, and Grammy award-winning organ soloist Paul Jacobs for an exciting and eclectic concert this Saturday, November 17, 5pm, at The Church of St. John the Divine. This concert features music by modern composer Pierre Jalbert, plus Haydn, Mahler, and Felix-Alexandre Guilmant’s Symphony No. 1 for Organ and Orchestra. It will be “the most fun you can have with serious music.”

Bring the whole family and enroll the kids (10 and under) in ROCOrooters. Kids will receive a music lesson, a trip into the concert hall, and pizza and movies while you enjoy the performance and the chance to go out for a post-concert dinner. Reservations are required, so reserve your space and buy your concert tickets today at!


Upstage Arts Youth Theater


Upstage Arts Youth Theater presents “The Music Man” this Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18 at 7pm and Sunday, November 18 at 2pm. You know the story: “Confidence man Harold Hill arrives at staid River City intending to cheat the community with his standard scam of offering to equip and train a boy's marching band, then skip town with the money since he has no music skill anyway. Things go awry when he falls for a librarian whom he tries to divert from exposing him while he inadvertently enriches the town with a love of music.” (Kenneth Chisholm). This show is super fun and will be sure to get feet tapping!

Upstage Arts is dedicated to offering children the full theater experience in a positive and supportive manner which creates a special place for them to learn and thrive in the arts. They encourage student participation in every aspect of each production including building and painting sets, running the technical booth, selling concessions, and working backstage during performances. All ideas are welcomed and thoughtfully considered. Children who are responsible and show enthusiasm for creating an outstanding performance have the opportunity to perform in lead roles and even direct their summer workshops.

Tickets are $12/reserved seats in the auditorium and $6/seats on the floor (students and children). Upstage Arts Youth Theater is located at 100 East Nasa Parkway, Suite 77 in Webster, Texas.

The Velveteen Rabbit


Here’s a treat for kids during the week: the Fine Arts & Drama Department Presents “The Velveteen Rabbit” on Tuesdays and Thursdays through December 4 at 10am and 11am. “The Velveteen Rabbit” (or “How Toys Became Real”) is the timeless tale of love and sacrifice as revealed through the story of a small stuffed rabbit given as a gift to a little boy. The tale of a toy rabbit made real through a child’s love is both entertaining and genuinely moving thanks to Scott Davidson’s graceful adaptation of Margery Williams’ poignant children’s classic...heart is the keyword here. This gentle and tender fable is ideal for both the young and the young at heart and is a perfect option for the holidays or any time of year.

“The Velveteen Rabbit” will be performed November 8, 13, 15, 20, 27, 29 and December 4 and tickets are $4/general public and free/UST community. The show takes place at Jones Hall on the UST campus, 3910 Yoakum in Montrose.

Glassell Junior School


It’s time for the Glassell School 2013 Spring Enrollment and another fun-filled semester at the Glassell Junior School! Registration for the Spring 2013 semester begins Monday, November 26 for continuing students, scholarship students, and MFAH members at the family level and above. New student registration begins Monday, December 10. Registration for Spring classes continues through January 21. Classes fill up quickly, so register early.

A variety of classes will be offered this Spring, including an exciting lineup of Explorer classes, such as The Big Picture and Make Believe. Explorer classes are held weekday mornings and offered to students ages 3-4 with an adult. In addition to familiar favorites such as Drawing & Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Digital Art and Fashion classes, the School is also offering Cartooning for ages 8-10, Young Architects for ages 10-12 and Digital Animation for ages 14-18! There are also Sunday afternoon workshops including Animals and Art (adult/child), Junior Fashion Designer for ages 6-8 and the popular Edible Art for ages 14-18. New to their workshop offerings this spring are Portrait of Spain and Inspired by Picasso which will coincide with upcoming exhibitions of the MFAH.

Spring classes are held after school Monday through Thursday from 4-5:15pm, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday afternoon. Classes begin January 5. For more information, please log onto or call 713.639.7700.


It’s important to be fully informed every step of the way which is why FamiliesEmpowered is hosting the 2012 EDUCATION AND HEALTH EXPO: FOR A BETTER LIFE this Sunday, November 18 from noon-4pm at the George R. Brown Convention Center. This one-stop shop for all things education and health will bring together more than 8,000 greater Houston area families to learn about school choice from over 150 area schools and receive important health services including free vaccinations for children. FamiliesEmpowered provides a fair and unbiased approach to school choice and college preparation for families looking to make a change. When it comes to your child’s school, one size does not fit all, which is why they created this Expo.

No matter what school your child is enrolled in, FamiliesEmpowered is here to help parents make the most of any situation. For example, they suggest that families establish a relationship with their children’s teachers and communicate on a regular basis to ensure their child is getting everything needed in order to thrive. Parents can also connect with other parents and use one another to form a strong support system.

PRE-REGISTRATION ensures that you’ll fast track it through long lines, so register here now! And if you’re interested in volunteering and learning more about educational choices up close while working with the Expo, register here now. Your child’s education will set the tone for their future. You have the choice. FamiliesEmpowered is here to help.

2012 Education and Health Expo

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.

Do you have something you would like to promote on Gish Picks? You can promote family-friendly events, products or services to Houstonians all over the city and the surrounding area who are active parents, involved citizens and great shoppers. We love doing this community service and want to keep it free for our readers but in order to justify the hours spent researching, writing and designing this newsletter, we need advertising support. If you'd like to learn more, please click below.

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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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