Here are the latest Beacon Hill - West End neighborhood notes:

Esplanade 5K

The Esplanade Association will host its annual Esplanade 5K race along the pathways of the Charles River Esplanade at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 20.

The race will be open to runners of all abilities and will include prizes, giveaways, refreshments and more. It will start and end at Fiedler Field and loop along the Boston side of the Charles River Esplanade, allowing runners to enjoy water and garden views set against the iconic backdrop of the Boston and Cambridge skylines.

Immediately following the race, runners and their guests are invited to enjoy appetizers and a cash bar at The Yard at the Liberty Hotel.

Proceeds from this race will benefit the association’s work to care for and improve the park and restore the historic Lotta Fountain.

Registration is $45. For further information and to register, call 617-227-0365 or visit

Jazz on the Common

The Berklee Summer in the City concert series will feature Anastassiya Petrova in concert underneath the fountain at noon from Monday to Friday, May 21 to at the Brewer Plaza, Boston Common.

Petrova is a jazz pianist/organist from Kazakhstan and a participant in many international festivals in Italy, Bulgaria, Russia and United States. Her influences include contemporary jazz pianists Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Brad Mehldau.

Visit for further information on this free program.

Music of Bach

King’s Chapel, located at the corner of School and Tremont streets, will host a lunchtime concert at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22.

The trio of violinist Yi Li Chang, flautist Nicholas Southwick and organist Mary Jodice will perform selections by J.S. Bach.

A donation of $3 is requested; all contributions are given directly to the musicians.

Visit or call 617-227-2155 for more information.

Great national painting

The Boston Athenaeum, 10 ½ Beacon St., will present “A Great National Painting: James Walker’s The Battle of Gettysburg: Repulse of Longstreet’s Assault, July 3, 1863” with Erin Corrales-Diaz from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23.

Walker’s 20-foot long painting “The Battle of Gettysburg” debuted in Boston on March 14, 1870. After its first appearance, the owner, the historian John Badger Bachelder, took the painting on a cross-country tour. The popularity of the picture and the narrative of the battle of Gettysburg generated a souvenir market including guidebooks and small-scale print reproductions. This commercial industry around Walker’s panoramic painting enabled Bachelder to shape popular perceptions on how Americans interpreted the battle that continue to the present day.

Corrales-Diaz is the assistant curator of American Art at the Worcester Art Museum.

Admission is free for members and $15 for non-members.

Call 617-720-7600 or visit for further details.

Organ recital

The Old West Organ Society will present a free organ recital at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 at the Old West Church, 131 Cambridge St.

Patrick Walker will perform. A freewill donation is requested.

For more details, call 617-739-1340 or visit

Honoring service members

Each year, the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund plants a Garden of Flags in front of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Boston Common to commemorate each of the 37,000 Massachusetts service members who gave his or her life to defend the United States and freedom since the Revolutionary War.

Flags will be put in place at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 and remain through sundown on Monday, May 28.

The community is also invited to a ceremony to honor Massachusetts fallen service members of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and Noble Eagle being held in front of the flag display on the Common at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 24.

Visit for more details.

Spring fete

The Nichols House Museum will host its annual spring fete from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24 at the Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St.

Inspired by Rose Nichols’ travels through Spain while researching garden design, the evening will feature flamenco music and dance performances, festive food and drink and live and silent auctions that will include unique artwork and jewelry, weekend getaways, sports tickets and more.

Proceeds will be used for conservation efforts of objects at the museum.

Tickets are $150 each. For more information, visit www.nicholshousemuseum or call 617-227-6993.

The Nichols House Museum, located at 55 Mount Vernon St., is open for tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, offering a glimpse of late 19th and early 20th century domestic life on Beacon Hill.

Creative dance

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will host a creative dance program with the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Fridays, May 25 and June 1.

Children ages 3 to 5 are invited to try out a ballet class with an instructor from the ballet troupe. Creative dance helps to develop coordination, motor skills, listening skills, creative voice and awareness of self and others.

Children are welcome to attend all three sessions, but repeat attendance is not required.

Registration is required as space is limited, by email to or by calling 617-523-3957.

Photography exhibition

The Vilna Shul, 18 Phillips St., is displaying “Holding Differences Tenderly,” photographs by Brenda Bancel, Toni Marie Gomes and Roody Jean Louis, now to Friday, May 25.

This photography exhibition showcases the work of professional Beacon Hill photographer Bancel and students Gomes and Louis from the Take 5 program at the Epiphany School in Dorchester. The photographers explore ways to raise consciousness of deeply rooted stereotypes. The exhibit aims to disrupt assumptions, shaking the viewer out of typical thinking in order to stop perpetuating ideas from the past.

Visit or call 617-523-2324 to register and for more details.

Swan boats

The famous swan boats have returned to the Public Gardens. Spring hours of operation (now through June 20) are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, weather permitting.

Established in 1877, the swan boats are a family-owned and -operated business with a unique tradition and place in the history and beauty of the city. A ride on a swan boat lasts about 15 minutes and provides a picturesque voyage on the waters of the lagoon.

Tickets are $3 or $2 for seniors and $1.50 for children.

For more information, call 617-522-1966 or visit

Photographs of the West End

The West End Museum, 150 Staniford St., is displaying a new exhibition “Under the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord.”

The exhibit features photographs from a collection donated by Ira Tarlin that depicts the West End at the time of demolition. Eli Tarlin, Ira’s father, was an original resident who came to own numerous properties in the neighborhood. The demise of the community, says the family, was also Eli’s demise.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Call 617-416-0781 or go online to

Coloring for adults

“Color Your World,” coloring for adults, will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. on Fridays during May at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

Studies have shown the relaxing benefits of coloring for adults as well as children. Patrons are invited to drop in and enjoy a relaxing afternoon coloring. Coloring pages, pencils, crayons and markers will be provided.

For more details, call 617-523-3957.

Picturing Douglass

The Museum of African American History is presenting a new public exhibition “Picturing Frederick Douglass” at the African Meeting House, 46 Joy St., now through May 31.

Douglass was the most photographed American of the 19th century, more frequently photographed than Abraham Lincoln, and was immediately recognizable to millions in his own lifetime. Douglass used photography as a tool of reform and to elevate the image of the African-American in contradiction to the demeaning depictions of black life often seen in the 19th century.

Based on the book of the same name by Drs. John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd, co-curators of the exhibit, it features more than 90 objects, including historic photos, books, newspapers articles and original letters by Douglass.

Further information can be found by calling 617-725-0022, ext. 222 or online at