October 21, 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). Tune in!

A special note if you're a parent or caregiver: be sure to follow my GISH PICKS page for not only my KID PICKS but also my CAMP PICKS (holiday day camps). Special for the pandemic, I'm also publishing EXPLORE PICKS (school year enrichment programs) -- my latest blog is here and includes programs by organizations such as Adventure Learning Program, Alliance Fencing Academy, and the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center.

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

WHAT'S ON MY MIND THIS WEEK? VOTING is still on my mind this week! I've gotten my two young adult sons to vote (20 and 25 years old) as well as the lifeguards where I swim and 2 Uber drivers. They've been telling their friends...who are telling their friends. This is how we do it -- pass it on! Tell everyone to go to HarrisVotes.com. Early voting is the easiest, and it's on through October 30.

I was honored to be asked to do a "Tuesday Talk" for NAMI Greater Houston last week. I chatted about SELF CARE IN THIS TIME OF TITANIC TRANSFORMATION and you can see it here. We talked about managing mental health challenges during the pandemic and ways to take care of yourself from my "12 Ways to Ignite Your Life Daily." It was a great heart-to-heart hour! As I have shared the last two weeks, I found a plethora of mental health resources in Houston that are free or reasonably priced; you can see those here. Please pass them along as needed.

This week I went gaga for OPERA with my PICKS. Enjoy!
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 Spotlight this week is Mandell Park, a lovely spot of green in our city that's looking pretty spiffy these days! It's located at 4399 Mandell Street, near Richmond Avenue, in the heart of Montrose.

This Saturday night (10/24) from 7-8:30pm, the Friends of Mandell Park & Opera Outdoors will be presenting a special concert: Gioacchino Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle. Best known as the composer of "The Barber of Seville" this 1863 Mass was one of the last compositions of Rossini's prolific career. Their production will feature 11 Houston musicians, including several alumni of the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Studio. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis (see more about it here) and everyone should bring their own seats and masks, both of which will be required.

Mandell Park is a busy place year-round, although many of their regular events have been curtailed in the pandemic. They've hosted kid toy swaps, other musical events, composting in their gardens, and much more. Be sure to check out Meredith Gardens, an outdoor classroom for gardening, organic food growing, and composting.

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 ADULTS: The Houston Grand Opera has not let the pandemic curtail their performances, which have gone virtual with free shows. This Friday, October 23 at 7:30pm, they're streaming "Vinkensport (or The Finch Opera)" on a variety of portals. This chamber opera is a hilarious sendup of the little-known Belgian sport of professional finch-calling. The birds’ names alone are worth the price of admission to this fun, occasionally poignant work! 
➡️ Virtual for KIDS: "Katie: The Strongest of the Strong" was supposed to be the Opera To-Go in person offering this school year. Children in recommended grades 2-8 can still learn about Katie virtually; more info is here. The show is based on the life of Austro-American weightlifter Katie Brumbach, who outlifts the strongest man in the world which inspires her to join the circus. She eventually finds her place as an icon of the women’s suffrage movement.
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 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.
  • 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 | www.GishCreative.com