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Welcome to GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS! I’m Sarah Gish, an info-preneur and culture sleuth who finds the unusual and cool in Houston each and every week. Join me as I shine a light on special gems and unique Houston fun. I love this city and want to show you the people and the places and the events that make it great (see more about my wishes for that here). And I want to make it easy so I sort through the cornucopia of events offered each weekend and PICK only three for FAMILIES and three for ADULTS to recommend to you. That way you’ll be all set when Friday hits! If you’re new here, please read below for more about this blog and then check out my PICKS for this weekend, further below.

Have a great weekend and please love one another, please share this, please GO.FIND.FUN. wherever you can, and please – go IGNITE YOUR LIFE!


I felt very connected to nature when I rolled out our garbage can last night: I looked up and saw Venus sparkling just below the crescent moon. It was powerfully beautiful and it was cold enough and I’m blind enough that I could squint and feel like I was in Iceland watching this astronomical scene since the sky was clear and my neighborhood (in those few minutes!) was quiet. I was curious about what was going on, so I went to ye mighty internet and found this article about last night’s starry event, as well as this article on the powerful night skies we’ll see in 2020. Fascinating! I hope you’ll take some moments to look up at the sky like I did - it’s very refreshing!

Speaking of nature, last weekend I enjoyed a sneak peek of the Houston Botanic Garden, which will have its full Grand Opening this fall. It’s a lovely space and we are so lucky to have it. Be sure to subscribe to their email list if you want to stay up-to-date on all their happenings. I saw Rachel Powers of Citizens Environmental Coalition there and she reminded me of their terrific and handy community calendar of eco events. They bring the “Wild and Scenic” film fest every year so be sure to catch the last screening tonight (Wednesday, January 29). And, continuing with the natural theme, this week’s VIDEO PICK is "Our Roots are Strong," about Houston’s special live oak trees. It’s the title track from an album I co-produced with Leah White that I hope to re-release someday!

There are two events coming up that I must mention - the Super Bowl (this Sunday, February 2) and the Oscars (next Sunday, February 9). I won’t be watching the former but will be watching the latter! The Super Bowl pre-game events kicked off Monday night with a tribute to Kobe Bryant and the Oscars will also include a special presentation honoring Bryant and his Academy Award-winning film Dear Basketball,” which brought to life a letter he wrote upon his retirement. May he rest in peace, and may the best team and the best men/women win!


We are the most diverse city in the country, not only because of the over 150 languages spoken here every day, but also because of the diversity of events offered and places to hang our (cowboy) hats. Because of that, I decided back in 2004 to start sharing my adventures in Houston and my knowledge of it with others via GISH PICKS. And, since 2016, I have been bringing it to life with my PICKS-ON-WHEELS Facebook Live segments in which I travel around our city in my Phoenix Rising Art Car. Stay tuned here for more details! My adventures will sometimes be posted as my weekly VIDEO PICK in this blog.

A note about the social media for GISH PICKS: please LIKE our Facebook page for FAMILY PICKS and our Facebook page for ADULT PICKS. Click “See first” in the dropdown menu on the LIKE button so you won’t miss a post! And please follow me on Instagram and Twitter. You’ll get all my CULTURE PICKS and more that way. And there’s one last way to stay in touch with me: I organize many events, such as labyrinth walks and workshops, so if you’d like to be informed of those before everyone else, please subscribe to my Gish Creative list here.


Please be sure to tell your friends about GISH PICKS – the more people who know about these unique cultural events, the more unique cultural events the organizations will offer us. Please also tell the orgs that I sent you. My business grows by word of mouth so I thank you for your continued support.

And, last but not least: this blog is free to you, my dear reader, but it’s not free for me to produce. I pay my designer and I spend many hours researching, compiling, and writing GISH PICKS each week. If you have an event you’d like me to PICK, please email me and let’s see how I can help. With me on your team, you’ll reach thousands of Houstonians in a quick-and-easy way!

Picks for Kids the Weekend of January 31 - February 2, 2020
Picks for Adults the Weekend of January 31 - February 2, 2020

TexAsia/Houston's Asian American Festival Association


This Saturday and Sunday, February 1 and 2, from 10am-6pm, celebrate “The Year of the Rat” and enjoy the annual free Lunar New Year Houston 2020 festival. It is taking place at the Viet Hoa Center at 8388 W. Sam Houston Parkway South. They promise 100 lions and dragons, one million Lucky Red Firecrackers, martial arts, and dance. Sounds like a great time!

Moody Center for the Arts


The moving exhibition “Radical Revisionists: Contemporary African Artists Confronting Past and Present” opened just in time for Black History Month and its scope serves as a reminder of that we all need to heal. The exhibition addresses the violent erasure of marginalized histories and the ways in which artists reinterpret familiar themes through contemporary, Afrocentric lenses. It’s on view through May 16 and the gallery is on the Rice University campus.

Lakeshore Learning Center


Every Saturday from 11am-3pm, Lakeshore Learning Center at 2405 Post Oak Boulevard offers free craft activities for kids. This Saturday, February 1, children can make special moon rocks (see the info here). Kids 3 and up are welcome and no reservations are necessary. It’s a great way to inspire creativity at your own pace, at no cost.

Society for the Performing Arts


It’s the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the Mark Morris Dance Company is taking their show “Pepperland” on the road to mark this occasion. It features an original score by Ethan Iverson performed live that blends arrangements of songs from the groundbreaking album with new Pepper-inspired pieces. The Society for the Performing Arts presents the show tomorrow night (January 30) and Friday night, January 31 at 8pm.

Houston Grand Opera


The story of my favorite pasta-making grandma witch is being presented by the Houston Grand Opera as a 45-minute children’s show, “Strega Nona,” this Thursday through Saturday (January 30-February 1) with 2 performances daily at 9:30am and 11am at the Heinen Theatre. Based on the Caldecott award winning story book by Tomie dePaola, this revival is one of Opera to Go!’s most requested productions.

E8ght Percent Ice Sculpting


This Saturday, February 1 from 11am-7pm, head out to St. Arnold’s Brewery and enjoy the inaugural Houston Ice Festival. This unique event is presented by E8ght Percent Ice Sculpting, an organization created by well-known Houston ice sculptor Rolando De La Garza (aka Reverend Butter) who learned that only eight percent of ice art is sculpted by hand. The Festival will have plenty of activities for everyone and the highlight is four sculptors who will sculpt ice inspired by the theme “Tour Around the World.”


Women will gather in community with me at the Spectrum Center Houston for 6 Mondays from 6:30-8pm to explore their personal life path using the “12 Ways to Ignite Your Life Daily” concepts from my IGNITE YOUR LIFE! art project. You can see the 12 concepts here and the key words which we’ll explore through a variety of ways are TRUST * NOURISH * MEDITATE * COMMUNE * LISTEN * LOVE * SERVE * FORGIVE * THANK * CREATE * LEARN * LAUGH. You’ll dig deep with this focused time on YOU and self-love will be at the center of all we do. There will be art, journaling, talking, laughing, labyrinth-walking, and more! At the first meeting, you’ll be given a journal and a special set of the 12 Ways cards to use daily. Each woman will also create an easy-to-remember personal mantra to use and, during the last session, will make a bracelet with her favorite word of the 12 to take home.

The cost for the series is $200 ($205 if paying via credit card; no fee if you pay via Zelle or Venmo). If you’re interested, please email me and I’d love to have you join us!


My friend Tracie Jae of The Quiet Rebel is gathering together 100 women (yours truly included!) on Saturday, February 29 from 5:30-7:30pm for a grace-filled, guided dinner dialogue on race & culture in an event called 100 Voices: Women's Dinner Dialogue on Race & Culture.” “100 Voices” will take place at Interfaith Ministries, an organization that is well aware of how dialogues and dinners can bring about tremendous healing. There will be ten tables of ten women and the vision is to offer a safe space for a difficult conversation about race and culture. The goal is not agreement and consensus but rather mutual respect and understanding. So often our discussions on these subjects happen in a vacuum and we recycle our same understanding without hearing from others who may see the world through a different lens. Minds will be opened and hearts will connect!

Each table will have a Leader to guide and a Scribe to capture the conversation. Confirmed Table Leaders are Liz Austin-Peterson, April Bernard, Bethany Boucher, Andrea Harrell, Reda Marie Hicks, Tracie Jae, Raveen Johnson, Secunda Joseph, Amanda Powers. Confirmed Table Scribes are Liza Naomi Abrams, Monette Chilson, Casey Fleming, Debra Graugnard, Kelli King-Jackson, Birgit Langhammer, Monica Roberts, Roxanne Werner.

Dinner is curated by Chef Rae of The Savory Experience. Tickets are $50/each and there are $275 sponsorships as well as donation opportunities available; for tickets and more info, please click here. I hope to see you or your women friends there!

For more about my personal, family, and business 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 kids and adults through my various endeavors, including:

  • GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS, which is a blog that is emailed out to thousands of Houstonians who love to explore our city;

  • Workshops, talks, labyrinth walks, and more - subscribe here to learn about all of my events;

  • IGNITE YOUR LIFE!, my art project and community campaign whose goal is to inspire people around the world to light a fire to their own passions and to create connections among people;

  • LIFE PATH SESSIONS, which are one-on-one consultations with me at Body Mind & Soul on Mondays. Sessions are one hour or thirty minutes and I can help you ignite your personal and/or work life;
  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, MARKETING, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, GUIDANCE SESSIONS FOR FINDING YOUR PURPOSE, and ART PROGRAMS. Talks and workshops cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, activism, and more. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
Sarah Gish
(Photo: Two Birds Photography)

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2020 Sarah Gish

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100 Voices: Women's Dinner Dialogue on Race & Culture (Saturday, February 29)"Ignite Your Life!" Series for Women (February 10 - March 16)Video: Hold your hands up high for our live oak trees!Ice Festival at St. Arnold's BreweryMark Morris Dance's Peppy "Pepperland"Contemporary African Artists at Rice HGO Presents "Strega Nona" for Free Free Craft Sundays at Lakeshore One More Lunar New Year Festival