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April Fool’s for Big Pharma

Pharmaceutical companies pay accountants, attorneys, and even ombudsmen to make sure they are held accountable to their finances, the law, and ethics. So this April Fool’s we wondered, why are we holding them accountable for free?

Today we sent invoices to companies like Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, and Purdue Pharmaceuticals for our work to make COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines available to all.

Our invoice describes our project and includes a small (very modest, really) first installment payment for our work to “to ensure publicly-funded diagnostic tools, treatment, and the COVID-19 vaccine will be sustainably priced, available to all and free at the point of delivery.”

To make sure there was no real confusion, we were let them know they were making a donation:

“We appreciate your timely payment. It’s a pleasure to work with you on this project. As always, your donation is tax-deductible.”


We know: invoicing pharma is not a sustainable fundraising model.

That’s why we so appreciate those of you who can chip in. Because of these donations that aren’t tied to contracts or specific programs we can make rapid, necessary changes to take on this crisis that other organizations can’t.

We created a global program with hundreds of participants in 10 days.

We couldn’t have done that with out you. You can help make sure testing, treatment, and the vaccine for COVID-19 is available to everyone:

Can you support our COVID-19 work?

Help make this happen.
We understand not everyone is able to participate in the same ways. Your donations will help get this program up an running; building infrastructure, materials for producing actions around the world, and creating, translating, and distributing teaching materials.



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A Memoir of Early Childhood

Just before Christmas 2019 a box filled with  copies of my newest book arrived at my door. Here it is! A book of stories from my early childhood when I was Mary Jane Lore and my world consisted in the boundary waters of Minnesota and Ontario, Lake of the Woods,  at my grandparent’s fishing resort. I am one of the few people who remembers these places as they were in those days, 1940-1948, or who collected the stories of  the olden days before my birth when even grandparents had been young.

A few years ago I began to go through old pictures given to me by my Grandmother Elizabeth Klimek and by her eldest daughter, my Aunt Eva Mapes. One picture at a time I took from bags or boxes and pondered, smiling or weeping but always remembering. Then I wrote the story of the person or place depicted. In the writing I let myself enter the little girl Mary Jane’s experience as a three, four, or five year old–those flashes of memory that seem permanently sealed upon my heart and mind. Woven among those episodes and images the now much older writer in me, Christin, followed their trail to where it faded into forgetfulness or was lost altogether. The crumbling of houses and landscapes. Development of something new. Death of the old and then the death of those who remembered them.

At first I recorded these stories and descriptions in another blog by the same name as the book. Then as I kept getting older and saw my grand nieces and nephew being born and already older than I was when I experienced this life and land, I began to think it needed to be a book that the Klimek and Lore families could hold in their hands. And then I thought of the place, Baudette, Minnesota and Lake of the Woods County for which these stories are part of history. And then I thought of old people I’ve known all my life–how they enjoyed telling the stories of their past.

When my grandmother told me stories I enjoyed it and could see that she enjoyed it, too. But what I have experienced now that I didn’t appreciate as a child is the absolute pleasure of storytelling, especially for the elders among us. The joy is this: we return in memory to places and people that no longer can be found anywhere on earth. Every time the story is repeated we find ourselves in that place among that company. That entire world is resurrected in our minds. What could be more glorious than realizing that even in the sad stories, the painful ones, being there again is good. My Aunt Edith from the Lore family told me many stories about my Grandma Klimek from years before I existed. When Edith was a teenager she worked at the resort and my grandmother was her boss. And every time Edith told the story while I visited her (over and over and over) her characterization of Grandma differed just a bit. It was growing. She actually was redeeming my grandmother as she re-imagined the story. She also was redeeming her perspective on that time of her own life when she saw the content of an experience far more and more clearly than its context. She became more compassionate as the story of my grandmother and her boss developed. And every single time she insisted on her memory’s accuracy and that her story was absolutely true.

It is the task of age to integrate the person’s entire life. A memoir unlike autobiography gathers together the truths stored in the heart more keenly than in the mind. It is a compassionate view of life. We attempt to get the facts right, but ultimately that isn’t the goal. A memoir records a person’s attempt to bring wholeness to memories from a limited time of life. And while it doesn’t deny the wounds inflicted by all sorts of violence, a memoir searches into even the most painful time until it can lean towards understanding and compassion.

The book is available for purchase on, only in paperback. It is full of pictures as well as stories which made a Kindle ebook a bit beyond my skills.

Sunday…Monday? Day.


Greeting Cards by Carpe Diem papers on display

Hello. I’d ask what you’re up to this Sunday but pretty sure it’s the same as me….under stay at home orders or quarantine or shelter in place. Yup. It’s a new world.

What are you doing to stay sane? Or hopeful?  I’m painting, walking Bella, staying in touch with people, organizing the towel cupboard, throwing away spices, you know, important quarantine activities. I’m also sending a lot of snail mail because it makes me feel good, and I hope, makes the recipient feel good. And honestly, it gives me a little purpose every day. I’ve found routine has been so critical these last 15 days. I love picking just the right card, writing a little note and putting it in my mailbox for pick up. (One of the many things I’m incredibly grateful for–uninterrupted postal service! Thank you USPS!!!!!)

I want to share and spread the simply joy of letter writing and note sending during this time. I’m giving away 12 free greeting cards in every order on my website. Send a card. Even just writing “thinking about you” makes a difference. Because really, we are truly thinking about our loved ones right now. This simple gesture has such meaning. We are living in a different time so let’s go back to a different way of communicating. The old fashioned pen and paper.

And they don’t have to be my cards! I bet a lot of you have that secret stash of wonderful greeting cards we’ve been saving…I know I do!!

We’re all in this together…I’m afraid a little longer than we first thought…so let’s get creative with communication. The snail mail renaissance is here…xo

P.S. No code necessary. ALL orders will include a FREE 12 pack of assorted Carpe Diem Papers greeting cards. Each pack varies. (Only available in the US right now…sorry, Canada. I’m working on it.)

P.P.S. Fancy Envelopes also make a happy mailbox. New designs arriving this week. xo

Central Art Coronavirus Update

Thank you for your outpouring of support and business these past few weeks.

Currently we are working to comply with the safe practices that have been put in place for the COVID-19 virus outbreak. In the wake of Governor Brown’s Stay at Home Order, we at Central Art have made some important adjustments to our hours of operation and our work schedule.

For now we are open only from for curbside pickup and delivery (free for orders $30 or more) 10am-3pm Monday through Saturday

You can call us during those hours at 541-773-1444 to place an order. You can also email us at [email protected] or message us on Facebook @centralartsupply to place an order.

We remain committed to serving our artist community where we share your passion for art. We hope that everyone stays safe, happy and most importantly healthy as we navigate these changes together.

Dan & Ann Ebert and staff

Draw or Sketch? What is the Difference?

Sketch Or Drawing: Just A Cup

To Draw, To Sketch, Drawing, Sketching, A Drawing, A Sketch.

I’ve been thinking about the difference between the act of drawing and sketching.  And, I’ve been considering the finished products: a sketch and a drawing.

Defining the Difference Between Sketch & Draw.

Truthfully, I find it a struggle to come up with an easy way to describe the difference between the two that fits all cases.  Or even most cases.  Even still, a definition that might give me a “litmus” type test for what is a drawing and what is a sketch.

Drawing Or Sketch Broken Seashell with Knotted Napkin

Shades of Gray.

You see, I tend to find myself thinking of exceptions.  That is, I think the terms shades of gray.  This is not a particularly helpful approach, however, when one wants to define something.

Drawing Or Sketch: A Page From My Sketchbook


An Analogy.

But, I did think of analogy that may shed some light.  Perhaps sketching is like writing short notes.  Taking the analogy further, perhaps a finished drawing is more like a novel or a biography.  It was the notes that you did during the research process that enabled you to write the novel or biography.  Therefore, the act of drawing is like more in-depth drafts and finished writings of poetry, novels, biographies and so forth.  Whereas, sketches are a type of research for that in-depth study or finished piece of art.


Another difference one might consider is time needed to produce the work.  Sketches may be thought of as faster types of drawings.  One works in haste to capture the essentials of the subject in a few minutes.  On the other hand,  a drawing might be a slower, more deliberate type of drawing.  It might take hours, days or weeks to complete.

To Draw – Umbrella Term?

To my mind, I see the verb “to draw” as the umbrella term because it means to pull a mark across the surface.  The result then is a drawing.  To sketch, and the resultant sketch, would be  a subset or specific type of drawing.  Again, a faster, less developed type of a drawing.   So, when a person draws to create a detailed, more finished work, then it would not be a sketch; instead a drawing.

Vague and Convoluted.

Do you see how easy it is to get vague and convoluted when considering the differences?   

I think there is certainly a difference between the types of drawings.  But, perhaps, types of drawings can be considered on a sketching/drawing continuum, with quick sketch at one end and finished drawing on the other end.

Clarity of Meaning.

So, why all this struggle to define?  Clarity in communication might be one desired result.  When I say “I draw out my design before I paint it“, I do mean a more deliberate preparatory drawing.  A fair amount of thought and consideration has gone into the composition before I paint it.

Drawing Or Sketch? Concept Drawing Tea For Two With Milk

On the other hand, sometimes I sketch rather than draw before paintings.  That is, I note on the surface the boundaries or critical lines of the subject in a more simple manner.  I leave the painting part of the process to develop the composition and design.

Ask The Artists or Draftsperson.

I do have one more thought.  In some ways, it seems to me more appropriate for the artist to determine if their own work is a sketch or a drawing.  Because the amount and type of work would be relative to the artist’s needs.  That is, can you tell by a finished sketch or drawing the amount of work done beforehand?  Maybe the answer is we think so, but may easily be deceived!

Sketch or Drawing Blind Contour Drawing: Santa Cat

Still Thinking.

Incidentally,  I still haven’t solved my own problem of writing about sketches or drawings.   If I use only the words “sketch” or “draw” based on the work, then the writing becomes too stilted.  That is to say, the same word gets used too often.  So, how to solve this problem?  I am not sure yet.

In the meantime, perhaps I’ll go work on a sketch or drawing.

Articles That Shed Light On The Subject.

Here is a list of four articles about the difference between drawing and sketching.  You might find them helpful. Note, this particular link has a nice table that highlights the difference between the words draw and sketch.


The post Draw or Sketch? What is the Difference? appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Join us & Free the Vaccine for COVID-19

We’re forming a global, advocacy innovation lab to Free the Vaccine for COVID-19 and you can take part.

Watch our info session

We offered two, live online information sessions on Friday, MARCH 27. You can view one here:

Then apply

Once you’ve watched the video, you can apply by completing this questionnaire before April 1.

Around the globe we are taking rapid, drastic action to slow the spread of COVID-19. As we come to terms with the daunting path forward, it’s hard to imagine the day we read the headline “COVID-19 Immunizations Begin.” But our experience with our amazing global scientific community teaches us that it’s only a matter of time until we have a vaccine for COVID-19. This day will arrive. And in that there is hope.

Watch the information session and apply by April 1

But when we do have a vaccine, will everyone have access to it? Herd immunity only works if the vast majority of the herd is immune. Without affordable access for everyone, across the globe, the vaccine can’t really do it’s job. Already governments around the world are investing billions in tax-payer funds into the research and development of diagnostic tools, treatments, and a vaccine for Covid-19. Since SARS outbreak, the National Institutes of Health alone has spent nearly $700 million on coronavirus research and development. This virus is now a global pandemic, yet experience tells us once the vaccine is discovered, pharmaceutical corporations will want us to pay again to acquire it. How do we make sure pharmaceutical companies profits don’t interfere with doctors, public health officials, and our access to tests, treatments, and the vaccine? How do we make this life saving medicine accessible to our family and friends around the globe and reduce infection?

The good news is that we know what needs to be done, and we – you! – have done it before. We have to fight for free access for all with creative, collaborative and convincing campaigns.

Together we will Free the Vaccine for COVID-19

Join us as we do the work, together, to make sure this vaccine does all the good it can do. We won’t win through old methods – holding up signs at a traditional crowded protest march is not an option. So together we’ll find new, better ways that work in our current context. We’ll achieve this by creating an advocacy innovation lab with teams around the world crowdsourcing new methods to achieve our objectives. These “Salk Teams” will design and test creative methods to pressure governments and pharmaceutical corporations to ensure publicly-funded diagnostic tools, treatment, and the COVID-19 vaccine will be sustainably priced, available to all and free at the point of delivery.

What we’re asking for and what will happen:

Once part of a Salk Team, you’ll connect with dozens of interested, talented and committed people from around the world! You’ll get advanced training through weekly online courses with:

  • the Center for Artistic Activism, which has worked around the world helping advocates and activists be more effective by using play, creativity, art, and humor.
  • Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, a global student-driven organization focused on ensuring that publicly-funded medicines are affordable to the public
  • Special guest collaborators – veterans in access to medicines, the arts, design, and campaigns for public health and human rights.

Together with other SALK Team members, you will create experimental actions to move the needle on affordable vaccines.

What that means:

  • A weekly total time commitment of roughly 2-4 hours over for 3-4 months.
  • Weekly inspiration to help you to prepare: video, reading or an individual action you can take from your home etc.
  • Collaboration with other participants in your area (from your home)

Why Salk Teams?

Jonas Salk (above) helped discover the polio vaccine and considered public health a “moral commitment.” His vaccine was released without a patent.

What you get:

  • A sense of agency in an uncertain time. A sense of community and belonging as well as connection to new friends collaborating with purpose. Your contributions will matter and be part of the solution to help save lives.
  • The opportunity to take action on a crisis impacting us all now.
  • Ability to take action from home.
  • Respect for your time, schedule, and changing demands in the months to come.
  • An understanding that if you need a break for illness, to support a relative, or need some for mental healthcare, then that’s OK. You’re part of a big team and together we got this.

What We Hope to Learn

We hope to learn how to make the COVID-19 vaccine accessible for all. No one knows how to do that, yet, because we can’t do that without going through an innovation process. Within a few months we’ll have created and evaluated the effectiveness of dozens, maybe hundreds, of ideas. Those successes will move forward, developing and evolving into practical methods. We’ll then implement those methods to take huge steps forward in advocacy for access to medicines. Through sharing our work, it will have already reached other regions and inspired new action. There’s no way to innovate on advocacy without a massive amount of experimentation. We hope to learn from those experiments while developing and building a grassroots movement ready to implement them.

Can you support our COVID-19 work?

Help make this happen.
We understand not everyone is able to participate in the same ways. Your donations will help get this program up an running; building infrastructure, materials for producing actions around the world, and creating, translating, and distributing teaching materials.



Select Payment Method

Personal Info

Billing Details

Donation Total:


One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.

Contact us with any questions and thank you.

Central Art COVID-19 Protective Measures in Place

For those who haven’t received Central Art Supply’s email this morning, here is an important announcement that will ensure you are able to continue making art to keep you engaged and sane as the coronovirus pandemic continues to unfold.

Central Art Supply hand drawn logo CAS

Central Art COVID-19 Protective Measures in Place

We at Central Art are working hard to do our part with COVID-19 protective measures. We are closely monitoring the best practices suggested by the CDC and state and local governments, realizing that they are changing daily.

For now there are a few things you can count on from all of us at Central Art.

We are taking measures to frequently wash our hands and cleaning our high-touch surfaces. We are also taking a proactive measure by asking customers to use hand sanitizer or to wash their hands when they come into the store.

Currently we remain open for business at our regular store hours, which are Monday-Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday 10am-5pm. When you come in we will always welcome you and engage in your art endeavors, but we will also allow for social distancing.

Along with many other businesses, we are offering curbside pickup. You can call and order your favorite art supplies, then drive up to the store and we will bring your order out to your car.

However, we understand that many of you may not want to make the trip to Central Art, so we are offering free home delivery* for orders $30 and over. Call and place your order and we will do our best to deliver it to you within 24 hours. *Delivery available for the Rogue Valley area only.

To place an order or to assist you in any way, you can reach us via phone: 541-773-1444, email: [email protected], Facebook Messenger: @centralartsupply

We hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and most importantly healthy as we navigate these changes together. Thank you for your continued support of Central Art, where we share your passion for art.


Peace be with you

What can I say that you haven’t read, seen, experienced or felt already? Not much. So I’m just here to say hi, send a hug from a far and staying connected in the way I know how.

I’m exercising a bit. Walking outside. Puttering. Starting projects I can’t finish. Emailing, calling and texting to stay in touch. Painting a little. Listening to podcasts and news. You’d think with this amount of time I could do more but I can’t. It’s ok. We’re all in this together and all coping day to day. Or hour by hour.

My heart is breaking for all the small businesses that have ground to a halt. The medium, the large. All of us.

I don’t talk a whole bunch about prayer or spirituality but I’m a believer and I’m praying. I went to an Anglican church growing up and there’s a moment in the service where you say to each other “Peace be with you.” And you say in return, “And also with you.”

Peace be with you. xo

Don’t Cancel: Creative Activism and Coronavirus

During COVID-19, we can creatively adapt activism and advocacy campaigns to keep social connection while maintaining physical distance. Here’s how…

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve are deeply important to protect ourselves, or friends, and our family from an overwhelmed medical system. However, that doesn’t mean our efforts to fight for social and economic justice are no longer relevant or important. In fact many of our efforts are related or interconnected with this current health crisis. Specific events may need to be cancelled or postponed, but your advocacy and your campaigns may need to continue. It’s simply time to adapt. So don’t cancel, instead let’s focus on how it can be done. Now’s the time for us to make the seemingly impossible possible.

Resist your feelings of discouragement. Don’t call off your plans just yet. As artistic activists, the world has always tossed the unexpected into our well made plans. This is why we rely on our creativity to begin with, and the current array of recommendations, requirements, and limitations to our social interactions are also a test of our creative thinking.

The following is a list of ideas, possibilities and starting points to inspire you in how you can continue doing your important work in ways that are safe given our current situation. They are not all appropriate for the present moment, nor will they work for every effort in every context, but using these as a starting point for some creative thinking may help you move forward.

Leverage the moment to get press

Everyday the newspaper starts empty and needs to be filled with news. Yes, there’s a lot of public health related news, but right now there are fewer, if any, sports events, cultural events, and other gatherings and functions in which to report on.

The press needs content. By creating newsworthy events, in this time, we have opportunities to get our messages out into the world.

Also, reporters are always looking for clever angles that connect to current events, and we can provide them. For example, read the following in a newscaster voice: “How do you organize a protest when no one can come? One local activist is determined to find a way.”

Keep Away

Revealed today by Center for Artistic Activism alumni in Skopje, Macedonia, “Keep Away” reminds citizens to follow the recommendations of the health department. But in announcing the project, they made special note that “no direct contact between the members of the group [was made] during the preparation of this action – we worked in phases and sequentially. Each artist worked on a different stage in order to avoid direct contact, but also to prove that although it is difficult, it is not impossible to get things done this way.”

Save the Rivers (at the river)

Center for Artistic Activism alumnus, Vanja Lazić, had planned to launch this collaborative, community mosaic/mural about saving rivers in the Balkans with a large public event this week. Because of COVID-19, she had to shift her strategy away from a public gathering to a press event. Instead of displaying the mural in the town center, she brought it to a beautiful river and created a spectacular photo opportunity for the press.

An overhead shot of a collectively created mural is displayed on a bridge over a beautiful rushing river.

Phone It In

Are there ways you can make your actions and projects more digital and less live and in public in the next month?

Can you use the phone system or conference calls to gather people or discuss issues in other formats? 

Can you use social media to encourage interaction and audience participation?

Here’s some examples:

A very successful site that connects people with issues they care about and then connects them directly with their representatives.

Mobile Games

There’s a whole genre here, but check out Phone Story, a mobile game which reveals the real social and ecological conditions of creating Mobile Devices. Or Guerras Electorales, which was launched right before the presidential elections in Mexico and shows how to commit fraud at the election.

An online pressure campaign around drug user health in Seattle the Center for Artistic Activism created in 2018. Visitors to the site can participate by writing memorials for friends who have died and/or contacting Seattle’s Mayor to demand changes.


Virtual sit-in tool initially developed in support of the Mexican insurgent group the Zapatistas.

Courage Score

Courage Score grade California state legislators on their political courage, revealing how well they stand up for their constituents over corporations or interest groups that exploit Californians, particularly the poor, disadvantaged, or communities of color.

Help lower the barriers to participation

Figuring out how to lower the barriers and make participation easy and accessible will help people take part whether they are on lock-down, sick in bed, or their schedule is impacted by caring for friends, neighbors or loved ones.

Start by acknowledging the current costs (financial, social, perceived costs, fears and risks, etc) and where people are. “Look, we’re all stuck at home and our lives have been disrupted, but let’s remember that we are in this together and we can help each other. Here’s an easy way…”

Make participating simpler – ask people to share their experiences with the issue or topic you’re working on. Remind them that we will overcome the current obstacles, and ask them to contribute the traditions they love from the past or visions of what they’d like to see in the world once we’re past this.

Here’s a great example:

Partido de la Red, Argentina’s Internet Party

To bring people into the political conversation, the Internet Party uses a tool called Democracy OS (see also Loomio), an online open-source platform that allows members of the public to debate policies and decide how they want their representatives to vote.

Give people some agency and community

People are stuck at home. They are desperate to hear good news and positive things. They also need a sense of agency – when the world feels out of control, it feels good to contribute to something and see the effect of that contribution.

You can build community also. If you’re doing online meetings or phone meetings, give some time for people to connect socially at the beginning and end. Put them into smaller “breakout rooms” or do a round of introductions that include some human, social element “unrelated” to the topic so everyone gets a chance to connect on a more human level.

Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

This edit-a-thon’s goal is to increase the presence of women artists on Wikipedia. Originally done together in physical spaces, but there’s no reason it can’t be done together online. And when you make an edit, it’s immediately part of wikipedia – the largest ever encyclopedia in the world.

Family Pictures USA

On this public television show, artist Thomas Allen Harris goes through the family photos and stories of participants “as they are reacquainted with relatives and old friends, introducing fascinating characters to our collective consciousness and discovering surprising connections along the journey.” It’s really wonderful.

Run events that don’t require close contact

Can you run an event that doesn’t require crowds and touching of common surfaces? Maybe “Appointment only” events and call it “VIP” treatment. :slightly_smiling_face:

Can you create an audio tour or low power radio broadcasts so people can have a guided, solo experience?

Center for Artistic Activism pal, Tod Brilliant brought up that more people are out taking walks “so, good old-fashioned telephone pole flyers are suddenly powerful again. At walking speed, they’re seen. As part of a ‘real world’ that too many people have missed, they’re likely to be received with a dose of nostalgia and gratitude, especially if they’re more about community building than protest… and, of course, link to an (yawn) online platform.”

508 Memorial in Seattle

Another Center for Artistic Activism from last year in Seattle. These numbers represented overdose deaths in the city. The memorial had an interactive element, but didn’t require large crowds to be effective. The flowers, notes, and photos they left became a way to mark their presence, even after they were gone.

8 foot tall numbers that read "508". In the face of the numbers are flowers.

Spanish Hologram Protest

Spanish citizens hold the first hologram protest in history in order to protest without violating the new draconian guidelines of the National Security Act


“Pamparadio” was a radio show run by two adolescents from the community of Iquitos, a jungle province. Armed with a gigantic speaker on the top of a community center and an AM radio frequency, Marco Jhastin Anchec and Cledy del Aguila Mozombite single-handedly ran “Pamparadio” as a celebration of potable water, how to make it, and how to take care of it.

Stage it for Video

Most of your audience for your live actions actually end up being those who see it on video or through photos afterwards anyway, right? Make your documentation amazing. Some projects you can stage without people or with very few people.

There are ways to use live video and interactivity to make it even better.

Domestic Tension

In Domestic Tension, Iraqi-born Wafaa Bilal lived alone in a prison cell-sized room in the line of fire of a remote-controlled paintball gun and a camera that connected him to internet viewers around the world where they could shoot at him, or not, 24 hours a day.

wafaa bilal domestic tension

Journal Rappé

Xuman and Keyti (Center for Artistic Activism Trainers) created a local, in-depth news program, but with a twist. The whole show is a hip-hop mix tape. One of our favorite projects!

Does this inspire any ideas? Is there a project we should be sharing? We’d sincerely like to know. Get in touch or leave a comment below.

Linda Abblett Show and Reception

Linda Abblett announces a show of her watercolor paintings at The Crown Jewel in Jacksonville. A reception is scheduled for Saturday, 11 of April from 4-7 pm.