Here are the latest neighborhood notes for the Waterfront-North End-Financial District:

Benefit soiree

The Vatican Museum patrons and friends will host a reception and fundraiser from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 18 at the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Museum, Faneuil Hall, 4th floor, Congress Street.

Proceeds from the champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception will support museum projects.

Mario Enzler, a former Swiss Guard to Pope John Paul II, will share personal and humorous anecdotes about life in the Vatican. He is currently a professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Cardinal Sean O’Malley will be the special guest.

The reception is being held in conjunction with the new photography exhibit - “Life of a Swiss Guard: A Private View” on view until March 25.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.nevaticanpatrons or call 617-628-2300.

Children’s Shakespeare

The Children’s Black Box Theatre will present a shortened version of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21 at the Improv Asylum, 216 Hanover St.

The play is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and manipulation.

For further information, call 617-227-2270 or visit

Chocolate and wine

The Old North Church Foundation and the Nichols House Museum will host a chocolate and wine pairing evening from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 24 at the church and historic site at 193 Salem St.

While the ladies are enjoying the tastings, author Dina Vargo will tell tales from her book “Wild Women of Boston.”

The Sons of Liberty are celebrated in the history of Boston, but equally important were the determined women reformers, activists, politicians, educators and sportswomen who made the city what it is today. Vargo will talk about the lives of these women, in particular the Nichols women, who were social activists who lobbied for reform nationally and internationally.

Books will be available for purchase and signing. Products from Old North Church’s historic chocolate shop will be featured in the tastings.

Attendees will also receive a goody bag of chocolates and recipes. Tickets are $42 and can be purchased at or by calling 617-585-8231.

French music concert

The North End Music and Performing Arts Center will present “Embracing the Ethereal: A Musical Journey of French and Minimalist Works” from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, March 24 at The Bijou de la Vida Gallery, 390 Commercial St.

A French wine and hors d’oeuvres reception will be held at 6 p.m. followed by the concert at 7 p.m. A chance to mingle with the artists will follow the concert at 8:15 p.m.

The performance of chamber music will focus on French and Minimalist music, and explore mysticism and the spiritual in music. Featured will be works by Nadia Boulanger, Vincent d’Indy, Andre Jolivet and Francis Poulenc.

Tickets are $35 and include the reception and concert.

Reservations are required, online at or by calling 617-227-2270.

Swiss guards

Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Congress Street, is displaying a new photography exhibit - “Life of a Swiss Guard: A Private View” now to March 25.

This new exhibition was unveiled at the Vatican Museum and is now on an international tour. Photographer Fabio Mantenga has captured an intimate view of the men who make up the Swiss Guard, who dedicate their lives to protecting the Pontiff. He was fully immersed in the daily lives of this highly visible, yet unknown military corps. His photos give an insight into the collective identity of this group as well as their individual personalities.

The exhibit also features military paraphernalia passed down from generation-to-generation of the corps.

The New England Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums and the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts are sponsoring this free exhibition.

Visit for further information.

Cape Cod coastal dunes

The New England Aquarium at Central Wharf Simons IMAX Theatre will present “Invasive Species and Carbon Cycling in Coastal Dunes of Cape Cod” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 30.

Dr. Robert Vincent of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dr. Rose M. Martin, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, will discuss how the MIT Sea Grant College Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service are joining forces to study carbon cycling in coastal dune habitats, as well as the effects of historic peat deposits on the persistence of invasive plants. The research findings will inform future conservation efforts in the region as well as provide an understanding of carbon cycling in coastal dunes.

The lecture is free, but registration is required and can be made at or by calling 617-973-0235.

‘Under the Sea’

The New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, is presenting three films at 10 a.m. and 1, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. now through March in the IMAX Theater.

The films include “Humpback Whales,” narrated by Ewan McGregor, “Great White Shark” and “Galapagos: Nature’s Wonderland.” All will be presented in 3-D.

For more information, visit or call 617-226-2149.

Homework help

Free homework help will be available from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays at the North End Branch Library, 25 Parmenter St.

Students in grades K to 8 are invited to drop in for homework help, academic support and mentoring. The Boston Public Library Foundation funds this Out-of-School Time program.

Visit or call 617-227-8135 for further information.

Aquarium fun

The New England Aquarium, Central Wharf, will host a family fun day at 10 a.m. on Fridays during March.

Visitors will enjoy activities created especially for families with young children, joining staff in the Curious George Discovery Corner for stories, games and art projects that focus on favorite aquatic animals. The program is free with regular admission.

Call 617-973-5206 or visit for more details.