In 1890, Shakespeare aficionado Eugene Schieffelin set loose 60 to 100 pairs of European starlings in New York City's Central Park in an attempt to bring all of the birds ever mentioned in the bard's plays to the United States. The starlings got fruitful and multiplied (there are now more than 200 million in North America), and Schieffelin is now remembered primarily for his foolishness. Tonight from 6 to 9 p.m., Paragraph (23 East 12th Street, 816-221-5115) opens multimedia artist and Kansas City Art Institute instructor Brian Collier's exhibit Teach the Starlings
, a project that addresses the ecological disaster Schieffelin set in motion, through photographs, videos, maps and interactive models of starling teaching devices.Yes, starling teaching devices. Starlings may be pests, but apparently they're also trainable. Collier has devised a method for teaching the birds to speak the moniker of their importer, and he wants to spread Schieffelin's name across North America with the help of local volunteers.
Fri., March 21, 6-9 p.m., 2008