Eight local artists light up UMKC.

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Eight local artists light up UMKC.

FRI 2/4
We aren't sure where the first piece of art is that we ever made. It's probably still hanging on Mom's fridge, filed away in a storage box or laid gently to rest in a landfill somewhere. It certainly never traveled overseas to gain international acclaim. Textile artist Sherry Whetstone-McCall's first creation, on the other hand, was selected to hang in the U.S. Embassy in Malawi, Africa. But we don't have to hop on a plane to see her work. Whetstone-McCall -- along with seven other artists -- has pieces in UMKC's African-American History Month show, The Light in the Other Room. Sure, we're excited about the art, but we really want to chat up the artists. We can barely survive one sibling, but Bonnye Brown, who works Kansas City's blues and jazz history into her large oil paintings, is the youngest of nine. And whereas we plan to hit the beach with foo-foo drinks after retirement, Margaretre Gillespie -- after 33 years at Hallmark -- still picks up a paintbrush. The show opens from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the African-American History and Culture House (5245 Rockhill Road) and runs through the end of March. Call 816-235-5641 for more information. -- Rebecca Braverman

Gangsta Love

Flaunt flapperwear this weekend.

SAT 2/5
>We know it's wrong to romanticize violence, but we've long been fascinated by Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. We're helplessly drawn to the duo's dangerous intrigue and the glamour of their guns and, particularly, their gorgeous immortalization by Hollywood players Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in 1967's Oscar winner Bonnie and Clyde. We're suckers for the film's tag line: "They're young ... they're in love ... and they kill people," and we certainly appreciate that it was Gene Hackman's breakthrough role. But what we loved most were Bonnie's berets. So we'll draw inspiration from her awe-inspiring accessory for the Bootleggers Ball at The Bulldog (1715 Main), when the bar and grill celebrates its one-year anniversary. Manager Michelle Fowler promises "classic cocktails, gourmet food and great live music at the party," which starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, and she highly encourages 1920s costumes. Call 816-421-4799 for more information. -- Annie Fischer Dreamer's Poker

The decks aren't stacked against the uninsured.

FRI 2/4
Gambling's still an issue of contention in Kansas, but not even the GOP-controlled State Legislature has a problem with betting on charity. Starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Maceli's in Lawrence (1031 New Hampshire), the Health Care Access Clinic hosts its Fourth Annual Night in Monte Carlo casino-style bash to benefit the clinic and promote free health care, which -- having played the high-stakes game of being uninsured and losing a serious chunk of cash -- we fully support. The $50 admission goes to the clinic, and chips won in the evening's gambling games can be cashed in for otherwise unaffordable prizes, such as a weekend stay at a condo in Taos. For reservations, call 785-841-5760, ext. 209. -- Jason Harper

Do the Collapse

THU 2/3
Pulitzer Prize-winner Jared Diamond has built a celebrated career by answering a variation of the perennial Neil Young question: Why does the human race keep fucking up? Fortunately for our future, Diamond's new book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, has been described as "optimistic." He discusses it at 8 p.m. Thursday at Unity Temple on the Plaza (707 West 47th Street). Call Rainy Day Books at 913-384-3126 for information on how to attend. -- Harper

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