December 2, 2020


If you're new here, well howdy! Welcome to my weekly blog about Houston arts and culture, plus whatever else I wish to share from my brain. Scroll to the very bottom for more about it.

I'm having a blast doing two weekly Facebook Live chats on my Facebook page: MONDAY MEDITATION CHATS at 10am (the latest one is here) and WEDNESDAY NIGHT LIVE arts & culture chats at 9pm (the latest one is here). Please tune in every week!

A special note if you're a parent or caregiver: be sure to follow my GISH PICKS page and this blog for not only my KID PICKS but also my CAMP PICKS (holiday day camps). I'll be sending out my round-up of WINTER CAMPS this coming Friday, December 4 and next Friday, December 11 so keep an eye out for that email or head to my website for the links.

As you read, please note that all the words in purple are linked to websites.

WHAT'S ON MY MIND THIS WEEK? As you’ve read many times in my blog, this pandemic has been SO HARD on the arts around the globe. I’m especially saddened (to the point of shedding many a tear) about Houston’s organizations that are suffering and about our own art-starved hearts. Our Theatre District is the second in the nation when you count theatre seats – over 12,000! We are second only to Broadway. So a loss to the performing arts here is a loss to our community and our economy in a BIG way. And, it’s the holiday season – a time when the arts shine and much money is made.

My friend Ernie Manouse has a fab program called Town Square that’s on Houston Public Media and on two recent shows, he and a gaggle of artists and arts writers and arts organization directors chatted about how the Houston art scene is coping. The first episode is here and the second one is here. Enjoy the excellent food for thought.

I'm always curious about holidays around the world -- if you are too, I recommend checking out the calendar of observances compiled by the Anti-Defamation League, which you can see here. I also write about Texas Christmas tree farms every year – now that I’m vegan (since February!), I think differently about those – this article has some great alternatives.

It’s getting colder out there so it’s time to enjoy our 10 days of winter (lol). My yummy hot chocolate recipe will definitely warm up your tummy on a chilly day! 
LET'S CONNECT! If you are wondering wassup with me, my offerings are below. If you'd like to keep up with all my doings, please click here to get a sorta monthly newsletter from me full of info about my events and more, including my IGNITE YOUR LIFE! art project. Be sure to follow my Facebook pages too -- Gish Picks Kids and Gish Picks Adults. I'm always throwing words and pictures around somewhere!

My ARTS PICKS Spotlight️ this week is the Houston Ballet,
an organization which has pivoted so beautifully and creatively during this pandemic! They’ve done some virtual programming, such as this moving video – “Restoration” – that was filmed in 19 locations across Houston, including The Museum of Fine Arts, Discovery Green, Minute Maid Park, Menil Collection…and more. They are also offering up their 2020 version of “The Nutcracker” which is called Nutcracker Sweets.” It will be showing digitally from December 15, 2020 through January 8, 2021 and features fun new works, set to favorite carols, and an abridged version of Stanton Welch's “The Nutcracker” from their archives. Tickets start at $35.

The Ballet is my Spotlight this week because of their new in person, COVID-safe HB Drive-In. They’re showing films in The Center for Dance parking lot, and I’m so happy we have yet another venue for seeing films! They are kicking it off with Frame Dance’s FRAME X FRAME FILM FEST 2020, which has 3 more films through this Saturday, December 5. And then starting Friday, December 11, the Ballet will be throwing up films on the screen on a regular basis; see the full calendar here.

And now -- the two virtual events I am PICK-ing this week. Please note that even my VIRTUAL PICKS are always Houston-based because I am very committed to Houston arts & culture.

➡️ Virtual for KIDS: The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is now open on a limited basis to the public (yippee!), and they are still doing virtual programs, including this Saturday's HOH To Go: Scratch-Foam-Printed Wrapping Paper. HOH To Go activity kits can be picked up from 11am-1pm on December 5, and will include materials and instructions for making special artistic holiday wrapping paper that the whole family can enjoy. You'll plan a unique design on scratch foam, then stamp the image with printing ink. Everyone can experiment with patterns and various color combinations to show their artistic flare! The kits are free while supplies last (limit 4 per family); if you'd like to donate $25 or more to sponsor HOH kits, please click here. HOH is the museum's signature "Hands-On Houston" program for families which takes place on the first Saturday of each month.

➡️ Virtual for ADULTS: Due to Covid-19, the 2020 Reliant Lights Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular 101st year event has been reimagined as a 90-minute local hometown variety show that celebrates the holidays in Houston. Hosted by ABC13 personalities Samika Knight and Tom Koch, the show will feature appearances by Mayor Sylvester Turner, Robert Glasper, Laci Kaye Booth, DCappella, Ledisi, Santa Claus, Houston Ballet, Dance of Asian America, International Voices Houston, and more (see the full list of entertainment here). The virtual show will take place this Saturday, December 5 from 6:30-8pm and will be livestreamed on ABC13's digital platforms. An abbreviated version of the show will be broadcast on Friday, December 18 from 7-8pm.

HIRE ME! If you want help getting centered -- or for focusing your life -- here's how I can help (I'm available for groups too):

  • One-on-one or small group labyrinth walks or nature mandala-making sessions (or both!), all done with masks and physical distancing. The fee varies based on what we are doing.
  • Stay tuned for virtual labyrinth walks I'll be doing for the Spectrum Center on first Saturdays starting Saturday, February 6. You'll get all the details in this blog, or via my monthly newsletter (subscribe to that here).
  • Virtual Life Path Sessions; see more about those hereIt's $50 for 45 minutes during COVID
  • Virtual meditation lessons for up to 30 minutes. I've been doing weekly Monday Meditation Chats and was interviewed on Great Day Houston about fun ways to make sounds for meditation (see that here). The fee varies based on what we are doing, and all ages are welcome.

To book me for anything, please call me at 713.492.1173 or email me. I'd love to help you find PEACE in this crazy time.

In non-pandemic times, and since I started publishing my blog in 2004, it has been a space to promote my curated list of unique live Houston area cultural events (PICKS) on the weekend for adults and kids. Because of COVID-19, those haven't happened since mid-March so I originally re-worked the format to focus on 5 Houston-based arts & culture organizations in my (Almost) Daily Dose of ARTS PICKS blog each of the NINE weeks of quarantine. You can see each edition - and read about 45 arts groups! - here.
And now I'm bringing you an ⭐️ARTS PICKS Spotlight⭐️ each week -- featuring an arts & culture space that is open -- and you'll get info about all of their activities and sometimes a video to bring them to life. Alongside that, I'll also be PICK-ing one local virtual event each for ADULTS and KIDS

I'll keep doing all of that until public events start happening again on a larger scale and I can start curating live event PICKS again.

In the meantime: please enjoy my weekly Spotlights and VIRTUAL PICKS, and please stay healthy!


Sarah Gish

P.S. If you want to IGNITE YOUR LIFE now or anytime, check out my list of "12 Ways to Ignite Your Life Daily" -- and watch the 12 videos I made about each Way here. I'm very proud of that list and my work and I hope it will help you live a fully creative life. Meditation, taking care of yourself, enjoying life, and laughing -- plus more! -- is what will get us through this global pandemic. 
Gish Creative |