February 10, 2021


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 and THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE arts & culture chats at 9pm. Please tune in every week! And I'm happy to share that I have organized my meditation videos into a MONDAY MEDITATION CHATS playlist on my YouTube channel that you can easily pop onto and access. They're short chats about different ways to practice meditation -- I hope they'll encourage you to start or enhance your own quiet time.

For my readers looking for adult events, be sure to LIKE my GISH PICKS ADULTS Facebook page. And if you're a parent or caregiver: be sure to follow my GISH PICKS KIDS Facebook page for not only my KID PICKS but also my SUMMER CAMP PICKS.

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

WHAT'S ON MY MIND THIS WEEK? Whew, February is blowing it up with busy-ness! There is a lot going on and I'm working hard to PICK the best for you.

But first, I want to take a moment and talk about February being "Black History Month." This is a problem, ya'll. If only one month is dedicated to Black history, this event assumes that the standard history we Americans are taught is white history. I hope you will ponder that and will dedicate yourself to appreciating Black stories throughout the year, not just for a month. And for that matter, learn Hispanic history year-round (not just September 15 - October 15) and Native American history year-round (not just in November).

I look forward to the day when our children are taught a fully multi-racial history of our country. If you want some deeper thoughts on this subject, please check out my friend Monette Chilson's essay that she wrote last February here. She writes eloquently about the problem with our whitewashed history.

Here's a great way to have fun shopping and spend your money with Black businesses: go to the Buy Black Marketplace, an event that has been happening for 8 years. It's an outdoor, Covid-safe event every Saturday in February from 11am-4pm at The Shrine of the Black Madonna. They plan to host it twice a month starting this spring.

Valentine's Day is this Sunday, ya'll! In addition to giving Valentines to my husband and friends, I write a love letter to myself. Self-love is SO important. When we can deeply and continuously and wholeheartedly love ourselves, we open our heart to others. We are more accepting and are happier humans. We connect better and more often. And loneliness is less of a thing.

I was thrilled to run across Lizzo's SOULMATE video about being your own soulmate that she made with the Queer Eye guys. Check it out by clicking below (note: it's Lizzo so it's not cuss-free). As she says "True love ain't something you can buy yourself, True love finally happens when you by yourself." Happy Valentine's to us all!

Tomorrow, Friday, February 12 is the start of the Lunar New Year (aka Chinese New Year). Houston is usually abuzz with events but the pandemic has curtailed many of them. Scroll down for my VIRTUAL KID PICK to see a fun one.

Aaaand: we might have snow and/or ice this weekend or early next week! Whaaaat?! See the crazy weather report here and then run get your woolies.
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 Rothko Chapel, whose beautiful doors re-opened after a massive renovation project last September. The Chapel is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10am-6pm, including holidays. Entry is via timed tickets and all the info is here. You'll check in at the wonderful Suzanne Deal Booth Welcome House located across the street from the Chapel at 1410 Sul RossNot only will you learn about the Chapel there, but you'll also get to browse its history and do a little bit of shopping to support them if you wish.

The Rothko is celebrating 50 years this month with two special & free online events: the (virtual) release of the book Rothko Chapel: An Oasis for Reflection on Saturday, February 27 at 6pm and the annual (virtual) interfaith service and community celebration on Sunday, February 28 at 2pm.

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 ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival is here for its annual unspooling (virtually this year) from February 16-24 -- the films are available now and the festival is completely free. This special ten-plus day film and arts festival is produced by the JFS Alexander Institute for Inclusion in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. Its goal is to use the arts as a vehicle to promote inclusion and to amplify the voices of people with disabilities locally and nationally. In addition to the annual festival, there are ongoing programs: ReelArt; ReelWorkplace; and ReelEducation.

The full festival schedule is here. All film, art and music events are free to attend, however registration is required for each event.

➡️ Virtual for KIDS: It's the Year of the Ox, considered an honest, dependable, and determined animal representing patience and achieving goals through consistent effort. Asia Society Texas Center -- which is now open to the public -- is celebrating virtually with performances, art and craft activities, and food inspired by Lunar New Year traditions across Asia. Their two weeks of celebrations will feature new online content released on February 12–13, 19, and 26. Activities include learning how to make dumplings, making an Ox hat, viewing dance and musical performances, and watching a traditional lion dance.

The virtual festival is free and open to the public, and all are welcome to participate and engage as a wider community. Get all the details about the event and register for it here.

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):

  • I'll be hosting monthly virtual labyrinth walks on first Saturdays from 10-11:30am. The next one is Saturday, March 6th. For more information and to register, click here. The walk is by donation, the suggested fee is $20. You'll learn the history of labyrinths, you'll get many labyrinth resources, you'll learn how to finger-walk a labyrinth, and we'll do a reflexive writing activity after the walk. It'll be a wonderful time of inner exploration!
  • Virtual Life Path Sessions; see more about those hereIt's $100/one hour and $50/30 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Virtual meditation lessons for individuals or groups. 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 2020 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