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Tidbits - March 30, 2017 - Reader Comments: Single Payer; Gorsuch Disaster; Israel-Segregationist, Apartheid; Religious Left, Socialists, Feminists; Censorship and Art; Teachers’ Union Guide for Immigrant Children; Announcements; and more...

Reader Comments: Trump Failure Answer is Single Payer; Gorsuch-"Originalist" Disaster; Israel Segregationist and Apartheid; Left Growth Today - Religious Left, Socialists, Feminists; Censorship and Art - Emmett Till painting; PBS; Maine Fishermen; Job Growth and Worker Injury; Resources: Teachers’ Union Guide for Immigrant and Refugee Children; Announcements: Black Women in the Media; Chicago-April 4; 81st Annual Celebration of the Lincoln Brigade; and more...

Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources and Announcements - March 30, 2017,Portside
Yes Go Bold. Health care should not be a for-profit business.
Judy Atkins
see: What Comes Next for Obamacare? The Case for Medicare for All (Economic View by Robert H. Frank; March 24, 2017; New York Times)
Amen (details to be worked out).
Elena Marcheschi
This is a good read. I don't "like" it at all, but it helps understand the intellectual groundings of their philosophy--a thoughtful face on covering up Ayn Rand--intellectual Ass Covering, sort of.
Jack LaSalle
Is that the 3/5 of a "worker" or the good ol' "right of contract" worker?
David G. Abler
Agreed and a few more facts, yes facts, in the trucker case. Sub freezing temp was minus 27! Inside the cab was minus 14 and he had slurred speech. Gorsuch is saying stay in the truck and die.
John S. Morawetz
We're only two months into this disaster...
...The cost we pay for Trumps vacations…. As of right now….. Could instead help feed 20,000 'Meals on Wheels' recipients for an entire year........
….That, again, is a meal---a day---for a year---for 20,000 Americans…
..Again, a $5 meal--for 300 days--for 20,000 folks--equals $30 million..
..$30 Million is what it cost us for 7 Trump trips to luxury Mar-a-Lago..
..By the time a year is up, it will be 120,000 Americans could have 'Meals on Wheels' for an entire year for the same cost as Trump's vacations....120,000 needy and elderly Americans fed for a year….an entire year.!.!.
Neil Alan Bufler
Did Blacks in the South have armed militant groups waging guerrilla campaigns ad using bombs?
Historically and politically inaccurate analogies don't establish much credibility. It's a form of falsification no better than that of right-wingers like the Trumpites.
The injustices done to the Palestinians deserve better propaganda than this. Comparisons with apartheid are more apt.
John Woodford
He seems genuinely shocked at the system, all the petty and not so petty privileges that Jewish residents have. 
"Looking around...It’s exactly what the Old South was in America. Blacks knew where they could go: they could drink from that fountain, they couldn’t go over there, they couldn’t eat in that place. It was well understood — you didn’t cross over if you didn’t want to get your head beat in, or you get lynched.”
Sonia Collins
I'm sad and ashamed
Howie Leveton
Do unto others as others have done unto you??? It's also what was done to Jews under Nazi rule ... until they did even worse. You'd think Israelis would be sensitive to this and careful not to emulate this evil.
Judyth Hollub
Another important book that is not mentioned here is "The General's Son" by Miko Peled, an account of how he, "the son of an Israeli General and a staunch Zionist, came to realize that "the story upon which I was raised ... was a lie."  I heard that Peled's group has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize 2017.
Peled wrote in a June 2012 op-ed for the Los Angeles Times that,“Israel is faced with two options: Continue to exist as a Jewish state while controlling the Palestinians through military force and racist laws, or undertake a deep transformation into a real democracy where Israelis and Palestinians live as equals in a shared state, their shared homeland. For Israelis and Palestinians alike, the latter path promises a bright future... AND YET, we still have US politicians who rely on the old 1970's idea that "no American politician can oppose Israel."
It is"way past the time" when they could sit on that fence  --  it's time to take leadership for what most of the rest of the US population is beginning to realize. They don't even need to oppose Israel, they need to oppose the US role in supporting an apartheid regime.  Is the AIPAC money so powerful?
Even the City Council has a long list of supporters for an Anti-BDS resolution. I'm disgusted by their timidity and not fooled by their "progressive" posture on other issues.
Georgia Wever
Can't imagine life without this dude! Thanks for the appreciation of someone who helped folks learn to DANCE in so many ways!
Leanna Noble
The reason the Religious Right grew so fast was because it was spurred on by Koch money that built the Tea Party movement.  The Tea Party just morphed into the Religious Right.  The Religious Right is the Alt-Right.   Their policies are the antithesis of religious principles.....the antithesis of what Jesus would do.
Nancy Ekberg
"The #religious community, the religious left is getting out, hitting the streets, taking action, raising their voices" #activism #justice Portside…
"Religious progressive activism has been part of American history. Religious leaders and their followers played key roles in campaigns to abolish slavery, promote civil rights and end the Vietnam War, among others."
This is a pretty good example of the left being on the right (side of history). How many folks wish we still had slavery, lack of civil rights, and were still mired in Vietnam? Yet those were the positions of the right.
Today's right wing stances become tomorrow's shames.
Michael J. Motta
Dear Portside and Nation Readers,  Sen. ?Sanders courageous campaign was a wonderful breath of fresh air to all of us who were the victims of the Nixon/HUAC/McCarthy/McClellan vicious red-baiting campaigns, funded by Daddy Koch, that painted red any anti-racist fighters who had studied Marx.
But I nearly threw up when I read the line: *Sanders’s emergence as the moral conscience of the American left was nearly impossible to anticipate. *Sen. Sanders  himself, I think, would agree that Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, based on nearly 20 years he has served in the southern vineyards where the grapes of wrath of slavery and Jim Crow are stored, working tirelessly to build a moral fusion Movement that has shown its strength in the streets, the NC Legislature, (over 1150 Moral Monday activists of all ages, gay and straight, mostly white, were painfully handcuffed and dragged off to jail by the all-white Republican Resegregations who have captured the legislative branch here, now encouraged by Trump's fascist policies, people, and pandering.
The failure of "leftists" to honor the scores of militant new Black Leaders who are gaining valuable practice and theory across the South, Gary Bledsoe in Texas,  Derrick Johnson in Mississippi, and Rev. Barber here in NC to name a few, reminds me of how we felt down in Pike County Kentucky in 1967, where Margaret Herring and I tried to stay up with the "left" literati at the big northern camp, while we were in jail fighting sedition charges, in Washington fighting the HUAC/McClellan investigators who led the effort to destroy the southern organizations that were the infrastructure of the "Movement" which we were willing to die for, and then being bombed out of our home, a month after Nixon won the 1968 election! Unfortunately, Marx and Engels and other writers died before they could develop the theoretical keys to open the door of southern racism--its social, psychological, electoral, and other aspects which has made the work of building a black-white-brown mass movement in a region where 11 o'clock Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in the week, where the generation of desegregation in our kids schools has been pushed backward by Helms and Trumpism, following the Nixon rules of blaming the federal government for "forced" busing, etc.
I could go on.  My point is, I will not endure this deja vu alone. Northern 'socialist' literati, who bemoan the lack of a mass socialist movement, should move south, and get involved with the fine young Black Leadership which has the most vibrant and creative mass movements going across the South, ready to challenge the efforts to restore Jim Crow.
Al McSurely,
Chapel Hill, NC.
if we don't return to democratic socialism we're gonna totally lose ourselves.
PJ Tedrick
Bernie was a pleasant surprise and his continued  speaking and writing looking to the 2018 elections is important. As for the split on the left in the past between socialists and Marxists, I think we should support the socialists not only because they are democratic, which is important. But if you look at what has been  left behind they have done better. Democratic socialists governed for years in Scandinavia which are progressive prosperous countries. Marxists governed the Soviet Union and when that regime fell they ended up with Putin who is reactionary, vicious and ruthless. The other Marxist victory was in China which is corrupt, a dictatorship and a very unequal society. When you look at the outcomes, democratic socialism is much preferable to Marxist socialism. And neither will totally defeat capitalism. But containing it so that wealth is better distributed and social issues are dealt with to make life better for most people is the point. The tactic of putting up progressive candidates who will win back control of Congress is a good start but a lot of work. But I have faith in the millennials. They know society has to change fundamentally if they are to have better lives and live in a safer world.
Laurel MacDowell
So, nothing in the DSA vision concerning environment, climate change, militarism/war, science? Education, besides attacking charter schools?
Ted Cloak
The trouble with this example is that way back in their minds – and not so far back – people hate school.  It’s always been a monster for people – like ‘the job’ – Yes, some good things happen there .  With the job – we get paid.  With school we find a friend, a love-r, a diploma, a degree, so we can go try to get a job  ...   all compromises with our tastes for life. These few good things – by comparison to the years of excruciating agony – could all be done living together, doing what life invites, not age segregated.   All that learning and teaching could just go on as we happen upon it within our daily life – together.
Norma Harrison

Phenomenal Women of Color: Past & Present.
Catherine Young Broussard
(posting on Portside Labor)
This article is right on the money!
Cathy Patterson
In a state with "right to work " laws, and a "board of industrial relations" that at present is keeping organized public employees form striking, most jobs seem like they would be best represented by the IWW. Great place to start (the history of the IWW) if you want a history of "how to smear your opposition out of existence". Good lyrics with heir songs too.
Ben Darling
This article, and the controversy to which it refers, brought the song “Strange Fruit” to mind. If Hannah Black had she been alive in the 1930s, when that song was written, would she have called that song exploitative, since it was written by a white man? Would she have believed that Billie Holiday had been suckered into singing a song about Black pain, since it had been written by a white songwriter?
Gene Glickman
An excellent piece from Portside (which I guess just means I agree with it)
David McReynolds
I have several anecdotes to add. Several years ago, when I was editor of the "Artworkers News", aka "Art&Artists," we published a story about a funded exhibition space in TriBeCa. Our journal did not ever review art since we, as policy, would not salute one artist over another. The writer unfortunately did not condemn a show's titled 'Nigger Drawings'. I was teaching full time during those years, and when I got home our phone was ringing off the hook, or so to speak. I said that we would publish any and all submissions with but minor editing for standard English. The bulk of the stories claimed that the work had inflamed or insulted the "community," and therefore the space ought to loose their State funding. Years later when Jessie Helms took issue with 'Piss Christ,' he insisted that the federally funded gallery loose its money. 
A few years back, a  friend in the neighborhood had a show at the Montclair Museum, and at the show, she reproduced a wall in her loft chastising Leon Golub for his painting called 'Horsing Around.' Although Leon is dead many years now, those painting are also in the Whitney annual. She claimed  Leon was racist, and she knew that since she herself is black. I knew Leon quite well and while we all have our faults--he certainly was hurt and horrified by her claim. By the way Leon never made up his images--he would buy dozens of out of country newspapers for his images. Leon worked together with this woman at Rutgers. (God only knows what their year there was about.) Leon was one of the important political artists and spokesperson on the left. 
We were also friendly with another Black woman artist who decried the work of Karal Walker. Walker did black paper cut-outs of sometimes compromising and off setting sexual conduct within the Black Communities. Walker was so upset by this criticism that she said that for years she had trouble getting out of bed in the morning. 
My bottom line on this is either you [are] against censorship or not. I am not saying that we should always live and let live, but sometimes eating your contemporaries up while not looking at the larger picture (poor word) is self defeating.
Elliott Barowitz
(posting on Portside Culture)
It is because the homophobic republicans think Burt and Ernie are gay!
Denis Martel
Daniel Kluck
No, it is to muzzle independent journalism, like Frontline.
Jenny Kastner
It's about time. They are the lobstermen who catch the lobsters--not the middlemen--and the lobstermen should get the profit from their difficult work!
Carol Driscoll
Great.  Lobster Farmers Union taking over their industry and eliminating the middle man.  Hopefully this trend in all industries go.  Certainly the fisherman  in Northern California should take a look.  There have been two strikes over wholesale prices this year.
Lincoln Smith
(posting on Portside Labor)
And a strong OSHA. This is so simple, Lock out systems, but workers still die needlessly.
John S. Morawetz
When I hear people say no Unions. what a bunch of idiots, unions protect the workers, the company only cares about money!
John Dutcher
This why unions are important. They stand to defend the worker-- and not profits.
Peter A. Rolland
As a former HR Specialist, my company came to the conclusion that it is much better to deal with a few union reps that to try to deal with each employee. We actually had 11 unions and four different contracts with benefits being negotiated as one. We were able to reason and listen to make unions and management work together for the good of all. i had to leave in 1999 because of serious health issues but i sincerely hope they still work together. When unions are present in a community, the whole community benefits. We were the Prime Contractor for the federal government and I found very few regulations that were not needed. What is happening now does not make any sense to me except to make money in the short run and be damned to the future.
Lois Shaw
Time for an independent investigator and some war crimes charges. This shit is way out of hand.
Jack Conrad
From bombing altitude you can't tell.
Jim Brough
refugees report that IS fighters stand on the roof and shoot at planes & helicopters, provoking a bombing--good propaganda for them & with loose controls the US forces fall into their trap.
Stan Nadel
Portside just republished this and I am so gladhappyjoyous, of course, so am reposting it here in case you have not seen it. "Remembering 6th Anniversary of Fukushima March.11.2017" "Fukushima is never going away." CLOSE ALL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS YESTERDAY. THEY ARE IMMORAL.
Sheila Parks
Certain self-defined radicals incessantly harp on Obama and the Democrats for enacting the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), instead of a "single payer" health plan. All know and are aware that the Affordable Care is not and never was intended as a complete solution to the country's health care dystopia. Therefore the constant harping on what was done or not done yesteryear is extremely short-sighted ... truth is that legislating an "effective healthcare" program has ALWAYS been virtually impossible in the US. The cabal of Republicans, conservatives, and insurance and pharma mega-industries are extremely powerful lobbies, such that no former president has ever been able to aggregate the votes required. Not knowing the extent of Obama's original intent, but knowing well that obtaining a unanimous vote (which was absolutely mandatory) not only for "single payer," but for even the most minimal of health plans was and for the present remains an impossibility. Barack pushed the limit of what could be obtained while retaining the loyalty of ALL the Dems -- not an easy feat.
Obama is to be applauded for his insistence and dedication in achieving such a "legacy" program, and for pushing as hard as he possibly could for the most that was possible. No other US leader had ever been able to progress as far. Obama succeeded only by holding firm every single Demo vote. Consequently -- tho the system that was possible to achieve is flawed, 40 million US people were finally, for the last 7 years, able to get some level of medical care and some type of health plan that was never possible before. Does the Obama plan need to be improved ? Of Course ! But everyone already knows that !
We (on the outside) can continue to rake the Dems over the coals for what 'should have been,' but that critique only ignores the physical facts that existed on the ground, and even more, how does nit-picking and Monday morning quarterbacking help the situation. Given the complete 2016 takeover of the House and Senate (helped by those who advocated sitting out the 2016 election because of "imperfect" choices), it is now and perhaps for several more years a virtual impossibility of not only enacting "single-payer," but also of getting even the least of positive amendments to current Obamacare. First things first, liberals, leftists, and even moderates must find a way to install BOTH a president and a congress committed to "single payer" and that will have the fortitude to stand firm against powerful pressures to still enact it -- none of which, given the political posture of the US, will be easy. Until then, those who are continuing to bark about the lack of "single payer" need to put an immediate halt to their finger-pointing and belly-aching and get to work.
James E. Vann
The article "Expanding the Slaveocracy" looks at whether (American) slavery was a capitalist system.
Slavery seems to have at least two things in common with today's mega-capitalists. First, the slave-owners claimed that their system was good for the country in just the way that today's corporations claim that huge profits at the top -- which push up GDP -- are "good for the country as a whole" even as many people got no benefit from it. Second, the slave-owners wanted to use the muscle of foreign policy to help them: "they didn’t just want an independent slaveholding South — they wanted to spread their empire of slavery to the entire United States and beyond." And American foreign policy has been busy protecting our mega-capitalists ever since. It might well be said that all America's wars since WWII are capitalist-inspired, especially as anti-communism (Korea, VietNam) is a distinctly capitalist ideology.
In the days of American slavery, the slaves, chiefly, but poor white people in the South as well, got no benefit from slavery. Poor white people had to compete against slaves for handicraft jobs, or scratch out a living from the soil as farmers without slaves to help. both of which kept them poor. Today, the earnings of most Americans are diminishing even as the very wealthy are becoming so rich as to act as if they believe themselves members of another species! If you think this "species" idea is specious, ponder the fact that, most recently under Obama and Clinton, an oligarchy of mega-corporations has steered the ship of state that today supports wars which bring in no profit whatever to America as a whole but refuses to call for a fight against climate change (which fight would, indeed, bring advantages to America as a while).
Peter Belmont
Opposition to entry in the war was the wrong position to take, as Germany's publicly stated war aims would result in the crippling of European liberalism and incipient democracy movements. In fact, the US' failure to remain engaged after the Armistice of 1918 was THE principal reason for the messy after shocks, from the Turkish-Greek War, the failure of the Mandate system of former Turkish and German colonies, etc., and, eventually, the unchallenged rise of fascism
Francisco Gonzalez
Go US Women Hockey Players.
No equality. No game.
Jean Douthwright
Prepared by the American Federation of Teachers.
Excellent resources.
From the Introduction:
This guide was created for educators, school support staff and service providers who teach, mentor and help open the doors of opportunity for undocumented youth and unaccompanied and refugee children currently living in the United States. Educators, school support staff and service providers are often the first individuals a student and/or family comes out to as undocumented. Moreover, they are often the first ones to witness the impact of increased enforcement measures on students and their families. It’s critically important that educators, school support staff and service providers know the tools and resources available to help protect and prepare youth and families for an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid.
Downloadable copy here
African American Policy Forum - A Week on the Status of Black Women and Girls - March 27 - 31
The widespread coverage of race and gender inequality in Hollywood often excludes Black women. The wage gap for Black women in the entertainment industry is a symptom of a larger issue: the invisibility and devaluing of Black women in media culture as performers, producers, and directors. Kimberlé Crenshaw moderates a panel exploring this narrative alongside solutions to promote Black women as creators. Co-presented by the Hammer Museum, audience members have the option of attending this program in person in Los Angeles, or watching the event live via streaming.
Thursday, March 30, 2017, 7:30 p.m. PST
The Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Access the livestream here
Receive more information on HDD17 here
  • MODERATOR: Kimberle Crenshaw,  Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is a leading authority on Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, Critical Race Theory, and race, racism and the law. Crenshaw’s groundbreaking work on “Intersectionality” has traveled globally and was influential in the drafting of the equality clause in the South African Constitution. Crenshaw is the co-founder and Executive Director of AAPF and the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School. 
  • Diahann Carroll is the consummate entertainer. So varied and dynamic are her gifts that she continually astounds fans and critics alike with her versatility and magnetism. She is one of America’s major performing talents appearing in nightclubs, the Broadway stage, a Las Vegas headliner, in motion pictures and television. Diahann Carroll is a Tony Award winner, an Emmy and Grammy nominee, a Golden Globe winner and a Best Actress Oscar nominee.
  • LisaGay Hamilton is an American director, and film, television, and theater actress known for her role as attorney Rebecca Washington on the ABC legal drama The Practice. Her theater credits include Measure for Measure (Isabella), Henry IV Parts I & II (Lady Hotspur), Athol Fugard’s, Valley Song and The Ohio State Murders. Hamilton was also an original cast member in the Broadway productions of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and Gem of the Ocean.
  • Tonya Pinkins is an American television, film and theater actress and author known for her portrayal of Livia Frye on the soap opera All My Children and for her roles on Broadway. She has been nominated for three Tony Awards, and has won the Obie, 2 Lortel Awards, the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, AUDLECO, Garland, L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent and NAACP Theater Awards. She has been nominated for the Olivier, Helen Hayes, Noel, Joseph Jefferson, NAACP Image, Soap Opera Digest and Ovation awards. She won the Tony for Jelly's Last Jam.
  • April Reign practiced law for nearly twenty years, honing her talent for public speaking and persuasive writing, but it wasn't until she walked away from her legal practice that she found her true passion. Now, as Managing Editor of Broadway Black, Reign is able to capitalize on her strengths and pursue her calling, using her voice to spark dialogue and explore issues of race, politics and culture. Reign is also the Creator of the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. 
Tickets are available at the Box Office one hour before the program. One ticket per person; first come, first served. Early arrival is recommended.
Under the rubric, “Resist. Reimagine. Rebuild,” a new Chicago coalition will host a Citywide teach-in the evening of April 4th at the headquarters of the Chicago Teachers Union, 1901 W. Carroll, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Event will include speeches by local activists, a tribute to Dr. King’s commitment to racial and economic justice, information on organizing in other cities and music by the hip hop duo, Rebel Diaz.
More than 30 Chicago area labor and progressive organizations have been meeting on the south side since November to map a new plan of action to resist the current climate of xenophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant sentiments. We include Arab and Muslim organizations, LGBTQIA groups, immigrant rights groups, workers centers, low wage worker organizers, youth groups, grassroots and cultural workers from various communities, labor unions, women’s groups and Black Lives Matter organizations.
* No deportations
* No Muslim ban
* No racist police violence
* Yes to workers rights, living wage jobs, unionization and the Fight for 15
* Yes to all rights for women and LGBTQIA people in our communities
This event will build for planned actions on May Day, in coordination with others, and as a part of a nationwide united front project called “Beyond the Moment,” initiated by the Movement for Black Lives and partner groups, which marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic “Beyond Vietnam” speech where he condemned militarism and materialism and called for a “radical revolution of our values” as a nation. We will join the rally and march beginning in Union Park in Chicago on May 1 at 1:00 p.m.
All are welcome but registration is recommended - click here.
Those interested can follow us on Facebook for more details and updates. 
Resist. Reimagine. Rebuild. Chicago Network  --  Organizer of Resist. Reimagine. Rebuild. Chicago Citywide Teach-In
15th Ward IPO – Independent Political Organization; Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 241; Arab American Action Network; AROS (Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools); Asian Americans Advancing Justice; Assata’s Daughters; Black Lives Matter – Chicago; byp100 (Black Youth Project 100- Chicago); Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression; Chicago Community and Workers' Rights; Chicago Desi Youth Rising; Chicago Light Brigade; Chicago Teachers Union; Chicago Torture Justice Memorial (CTJM) Project; CLAW (Chicago Coalition of Abolitionist Whites); Fight for 15; Grassroots Collaborative; Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN); Iraqi Veterans Against the War; Jewish Voice for Peace(JVP); Kenwood Oakland Community Organization; Let Us Breathe Collective (occupiers of Freedom Square); Lifted Voices; Love and Protect; Mi Gente; OCAD (Organized Communities Against Deportations); Pilsen Alliance; Raise the Floor Alliance; SEIU; Teachers for Social Justice (TSJ); Ujiima Medics; Workers Center for Racial Justice
Museum of the City of New York
1220 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10029
Pre-Event Benefit 2:15 pm – 4:15 pm [Doors open at 2:00 pm and includes lunch] Featuring a conversation on mass migration and international solidarity with award recipient Oscar Camps and Communications Director at Human Rights Watch Emma Daly.
Annual Celebration 4:45 – 6:30 pm [Doors open at 4:00 pm]
Featuring the presentation of the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism to Proactiva Open Arms in support of their ongoing efforts to rescue migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.The Annual Celebration will also feature a performance of Songs Against Fascism by Brooklyn-based ensemble Barbez.
Reception to follow.

Oscar Camps in action with Proactiva Open Arms
photo credit: Reuters/Yannis Behrakis
Honorary Committee: Vinie Burrows,  Richard Serra, and Emilio Silva.
Host Committee: Peter N. Carroll, Burt Cohen, Dan Czitrom, Anthony Geist, Jeanne Houck, Jo Labanyi, Fraser Ottanelli, Ellyn Polshek, and Amy Rao.
More information here.
Purchase tickets here