It happened at least once this winter: After you parked your car and as you were rushing to the waiting warm confines of a favorite yummy-soup-serving restaurant, you passed a Whats Up Magazine vendor. Even though you dug in your pocket/purse for a dollar to buy the recent issue of the publication, you couldn't easily shake the pangs of sadness you felt for the homeless vendor. How are you so lucky to be able to eat nice meals, own a car and have an apartment, when other perfectly nice people have to stand on the outside, both literally and figuratively?
From Thursday, March 31, through Saturday, April 2, you can learn more about the causes and struggles of homelessness at Whats Up Magazine's "Sleeping Under the Arch Film Festival: Issues About Homelessness in St. Louis," hosted by the Doerr Center for Social Justice Education & Research at Saint Louis University (in the Carlo Auditorium in Tegeler Hall, 3350 Lindell Boulevard).
The festival opens on Thursday at 6 p.m. with the 109-second film What Does a Person Deserve? by Ken Kimmelman; the night closes with a panel discussion with local experts on topics like housing and mental health. On Friday from 6 to 8 p.m., the festival looks at St. Louis homelessness with two films: Faces of Homelessness and the This Is the Blues Man's Home (which is by SLU students). A panel discussion with the likes of Russ Carnahan and other politicos follows these screenings.
On Saturday, the final day of the festival, you can attend three sessions: from 2 to 4 p.m., from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. In this last session, the documentary Dark Days, which features a soundtrack by DJ Shadow, screens.
The entire festival is free, but please bring items like clothes, blankets, gloves, hats and unused toiletries to donate. For more information visit www.whatsupstl .com/filmfestival/. -- Alison Sieloff
Raze vs. Raise
As the winner of the Henry L. and Natalie E. Freund Fellowship, New York-based artist Matthew Buckingham spent a month in residence at Washington University. In that brief span, Buckingham noticed the peculiar philosophy St. Louis adheres to when discussing urban renewal: the "clean slate." Whether our urban slate is cleaned by naturally occurring disasters such as the fire of 1849 or the planned razing of whole neighborhoods in the '60s and '70s, St. Louis seems fascinated with the idea that in order to save the city, we must first destroy it. This concept of rejuvenation through destruction informs his new exhibit, Currents 94: Matthew Buckingham, in Gallery 337 of the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org). Buckingham discusses his work at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, and the exhibit remains up through June 12. -- Paul Friswold
The Science of Mixology
It's time to talk about the St. Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4444 or www.slsc.org). Have you ever thought about what happens there at night after all the kids leave? Do the employees run around with underpants on their heads, yodeling and climbing the T. Rex? Or maybe, like on TV, all the cool stuff comes to life and begins its day -- er, night, as it were -- when everyone else has gone home. Wouldn't that be something?! Now's your chance to find out just what's going on at the SLSC under the clandestine cover of nightfall: The center hosts Friday Nights Live!, a free weekly party held from 6 to 9:30 p.m. As you enjoy the live local music, a cocktail from the cash bar and food from the Fizz Factory on this Friday, April 1, keep an eye on that T. Rex -- we heard he can knock back a drink or two. -- Alison Sieloff
Wonder of the World
At age thirteen Detroit's Steveland Judkins Morris had everybody in America saying "yeah!" As Little Stevie Wonder, he was swinging "Fingertips Pt. 2" to the top of the charts, and 21 Grammy Awards later, he has definitely reached higher ground. If you didn't grow up listening to Stevie, you might not realize what a wonder he actually is. Fortunately, poet and St. Louis native Quincy Troupe captures this renowned man and his legendary musical career for the next generation in Troupe's new children's poetry book, Little Stevie Wonder. Troupe discusses and signs his book at the Vaughn Cultural Center (3701 Grandel Square) at 3 p.m.; admission is free. For more information contact Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731 or visit www.left-bank.com. -- Amy Helms