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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 Houston gems and unique Houston fun. I love Houston 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 for you so I sort through the cornucopia of events offered in our wonderful city each weekend and I PICK only three each for families and adults to recommend to you. That way you’ll be all set when Friday hits! Speaking of Friday, please join me for my weekly PICKS-ON-WHEELS in my Phoenix Rising Art Car. Each Friday at noon, I’ll be at a different cool place – meeting people, introducing what they do and their mission, and wandering around. It’s my way of bringing GISH PICKS to life! Tune in on Fridays at noon here. It is TOTALLY fun and I’d love for you to see them and join in by liking and commenting!

We are the most diverse city in the country, not only because of the over 100 languages spoken here every day, but also because of the diversity of events offered and places to hang our (cowboy) hats. 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. Here’s to many more years of GISH PICKS!

A note about the social media for GISH PICKS: please LIKE our Facebook page for family PICKS and our Facebook page for adult PICKS. Be sure to 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.


I’m thinking about COMPASSION this week. It’s a topsy-turvy world right now with a lot of crazy and sad and scary things happening all over, especially here at home. I often feel helpless and frustrated but have come to a recent realization that compassion, love, and kindness are what will carry us through. I will be focusing on how I can be kinder every day – something I do on a regular basis, but it feels more urgent during these days of massive denigration of so many groups: Muslims, women, transgenders, the disabled, and more. It’s the one-on-one contacts that will make the different and enact change. As the saying goes “Love makes the world go round.”

Houston was officially designated a “City of Compassion” in 2015 under Mayor Annise Parker (see more about that here) and that value continues today under Mayor Sylvester Turner, who recently declared at a press conference about Houston being a sanctuary city and a welcoming city for all with the statement “We don’t build walls in this city, we practice love.” You can see more about Turner’s stance here in the Forward Times magazine. Indeed, it is by practicing love every day and at all levels of citizenry from the ground up, that we can make the world a more welcoming place.

A local organization that focuses on love, service, and compassion is Compassionate Houston, which was inspired by Houston’s designation as a City of Compassion as well as by the amazing and world-changing work done by organizations such as The Charter for Compassion International and the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education/CCARE. Taken together, all of this is making a Houston a city for all people, a place where we welcome anyone and everyone, and where we do our best to live out the Mayor’s desire to practice love. Compassionate Houston organizes a yearly “Compassion Week” and this year it will take place from April 22-29, kicking off at the beautiful new Levy Park on April 22. As a warm-up to that event, Compassionate Houston is hosting a fundraising breakfast with Dr. James Doughty, who is the founder and director of CCARE. For more about that breakfast and to purchase tickets, click here. I’ll be at both the breakfast and the Compassion Week kick-off – please join me!

Today’s VIDEO PICK is a long one (almost an hour) but it’s the engrossing film of a talk done by former Mayor Bill White at Christ Church Cathedral. He discussed compassion in all its ways and how he lives out compassion in his own life. White’s public dedication to compassion paved the way for our next two mayors to firmly cement that value as something that is at the very core of who we are in Houston. I am thankful for all three Mayors and for this city’s compassion work.

Have a great weekend, love one another, please share this, and go IGNITE YOUR LIFE!

Picks for Kids the Weekend of March 31-April 2, 2017
Picks for Adults the Weekend of March 31-April 2, 2017

Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum


One of my all-time favorite museums in Houston – and one that is not well-known – is the Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum. Every month, they offer First Saturday inexpensive art workshops for families from 10am-1pm. This Saturday, April 1, kids will be doing art projects in celebration of spring. The fee is $2 per artist and be sure to take some time to tour the museum – it’s so interesting! It was named after a beloved teacher and is run by the Spring Branch ISD for their kids and the community.

Buy Black Marketplace


On the first Saturday of every month, the Shrine Cultural and Event Center hosts a pop-up Buy Black Marketplace, which is a celebration of African American businesses. This Saturday, April 1, the Market will take place from noon-6pm at the Shrine, located at 5309 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Entry is free and you can enjoy a variety of food and goods and events such as free sewing classes and African Holocaust tours.

Circo Avenida


If you’ve been wondering why it’s more lively around the Convention Center, it’s because the folks at Avenida Houston have been programming regular events, many in conjunction with Discovery Green. This Friday, March 31 and every Friday until May 26, “Circo Avenida will be entertaining crowds from 7-10pm. They promise circus actions, contortion artists, acrobatic moves, and much more. There are plenty of other fun events on the Avenida, including weekly blues on Wednesdays and weekly dancing on Thursdays.



The Next Iteration Theater Company is presenting the final weekend of Turquoise,” a production that is three plays in one by Obie Award winning playwright Deb Margolin. With themes of memory, love, symbiosis, and mortality, the stories reflect on the oneness of everything while capturing the hearts and minds of the audience with simplicity and hilarious, quick-volleying dialogue. Shows are at MATCH tonight (Thursday, March 30), Friday (March 31), and Saturday (April 1).

The Composer is Dead!


This Saturday, April 1, starting at 2pm, the Fort Bend County Libraries will present a children’s concert performance by the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra of The Composer is Dead! at the George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond. Created by Nathaniel Stookey and featuring words by Lemony Snicket, “The Composer is Dead!” is a high-spirited murder-mystery musical performance about the untimely demise of a composer. The perplexing mystery leads the audience into all corners of the orchestra in search of the culprit.

Shovels & Rope


Pegstar Concerts and White Oak Music Hall present Shovels & Rope, a South Carolina-based indie folk duo consisting of married singer/songwriters Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst with Matthew Logan Vasquez. Inspired by the likes of Woody Guthrie, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, the Cramps, and the soulful harmonies of Johnny Cash and June Carter, the pair promises a good show on Friday, March 31 at 8pm at the new White Oak Music Hall (it’s worth a visit just to see the space!). Tickets are $18/advance and $20/door.

RISE” bracelets


I’ve been making “RISE” bracelets in honor of woman power and to raise funds for both the Women’s March on Washington and the Women’s Home, which assists women who are homeless due to addiction, prison, or economics. It’s been my honor to take donations in exchange for the bracelets and then to donate the money to good causes, causes that help women. In this time of an assault on women, it’s important to RISE and be strong and take back our power! That’s a great message for women and a particularly strong one for women who are graduating. Find out more about the project and order your very own RISE bracelet(s) here. Fifty percent of all purchases will go back to the Women’s Home.

GISH PICKS: CURATED CULTURE FOR KIDS AND ADULTS is a free weekly email in which I cull through the HUNDREDS of events offered in our city each week and PICK just three for adults and three for kids to recommend. It’s #GishPicks #CuratedCulture to help you plan your weekend! 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 Houstonians become aware of all the interesting and unique things they can do in Houston and the surrounding area. Exploring your city is a great way to #IgniteYourOwnLife and we are so happy to help you do that. Please do give me feedback and ideas, as you are out there in the trenches also looking for interesting things 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, 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 online and emailed out to thousands of Houstonians who love to explore our city;

  • THE SUMMER BOOK® ONLINE, a searchable database of over 200 Houston day camps and classes for kids and teens;

  • 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;

  • INTUITIVE GUIDANCE 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 with personal and/or work questions;

  • Quarterly “WHAT’S YOUR PURPOSE?” workshops at Body Mind & Soul, check the store’s online calendar for dates and more information; and

  • 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

© 2017 Sarah Gish

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Click here to subscribe to GISH PICKS!
First Saturday Art at AYAM Circo Avenida on Fridays The Composer is Dead! Buy Black Marketplace at the Shrine Turquoise by Deb Margolin Indie Folk Music at the White Oak Music Hall VIDEO PICK: Former Mayor Bill White talks about lighting a candle for compassion RISE Bracelets: Great Graduation Gifts for a Good Cause!