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

Swan boats return

The 143rd season of the swan boats will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 13. Celebrating the end of winter and the start of spring in New England, Mayor Martin J. Walsh will host the first ride of the season as the swan boats open at the Public Garden lagoon.

The swan boats first launched in 1877 by Irish immigrant and shipbuilder Robert Paget, and the Paget family still operates these iconic treasures. They are built on oak-framed pontoons sheathed in copper. The swans are made from either copper or Fiberglas and house the paddle mechanisms to propel the boats.

Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April 13 to June 20 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 20 through Labor Day.

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

April Fools’ tour

Boston by Foot will offer an April Fools’ Day tour from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14, meeting the Massachusetts State House, Beacon Street across from Boston Common.

The tour, “True Lies and False Facts,” will present some wild and amazing stories about local characters and unlikely events, some of which will be true, others not. Participants can test their knowledge of Boston and decide fact from fiction. Participants will have a score sheet to make guesses, and after the tour will go to Harvard Gardens to uncover the truth. Prizes will be awarded. Light snacks and a cash bar will be available.

Tickets are $20 for non-members and $10 for members.

Call 617-367-2345 or visit for more information.

Boston Ballet story time

The West End Branch Library, 131 Cambridge St., will offer story time with the Boston Ballet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16.

Children and families are welcome to hear stories about a famous ballet or dancer. The story time is also supplemented with a movement experience that highlights major themes of the story. Boston Ballet faculty dance educators will lead the program, which is for children age 2 and up. Younger children will need parental supervision.

Call 617-523-3957 for further details.

Operatic afternoon

King’s Chapel, corner of School and Tremont streets, will present soprano Emily Bieber-Harris in concert at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16.

Accompanied by organist Heinrich Christensen, Bieber-Harris will perform songs by Bach, Brahms and others.

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

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

Organ recital

The Boston Organ Studio will perform in a free concert from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16 at the Old West Church, 131 Cambridge St.

Members of the studio will perform varied repertoire on the C.B. Fisk organ in Old West.

Further information can be found online at

Music documentaries

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will screen music documentaries from 3 to 5 p.m. on April 17 and 24.

The documentaries will include “Mavis!” on April 17; and “What Happened, Miss Simone?” the following week.

Admission is free. For more information, call 617-523-3957.

Three notables

The Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., will host an up close tour of three notable New Englanders at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17.

Docent Susan Ostberg will lead a discussion around John Adams, Nancy Graves Cabot and Thomas Handasyd Perkins and the complex social and historical questions they raise.

Reservations are recommended, as space is limited, at or by calling 617-227-0270.

Evening benefit

The Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., will host a Conservation Evening: a benefit for the conservation lab at the Athenaeum, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17.

The special collections team and the conservators of the Athenaeum have hand selected treasures from the collections, including rare books, maps, paintings and prints that are in need of special care. Attendees can view these materials and then bid on their favorites in a silent auction to sponsor their conservation treatment. They can check out the items in the online catalog before the auction.

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Tickets are $40 for members and visitors.

Reservations are required. To RSVP, visit or call 617-227-0270.

Read across the USA

Children’s entertainer Judy Pancoast will be the guest performer from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 18 at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

Kids can make their way out from Maine across the U.S. on a road trip that includes upbeat songs, interaction, dancing and a great geography lesson. Pancoast will engage children in a musical literary adventure taking them from “Make Way for Ducklings” in Boston, to “Balto” in Alaska and everywhere in between.

Groups should e-mail to register. Families will be admitted on a first come, first served basis the day of the program.

Call 617-523-3957 for more details.

John Singer Sargent

Karen Corsano and Daniel Williman will present “John Singer Sargent in the Circle of Annie Adams Fields” from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 18 at the Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St.

Sargent, the most sought after portrait painter of his age, painted hundreds of women, and one of the most interesting was the social reformer, women’s rights advocate, hostess and author, Annie Adams Fields. During his stays in Boston and Fields’ trips to London, the two fostered a friendship and mutual admiration society with an overlapping circle of friends.

The portrait has recently come home from a Sargent show in Stockholm, and the Athenaeum is welcoming it back with a talk by Corsano and Williman about Field’s influences on Sargent. They are the authors of “John Singer Sargent and His Muse.”

Admission is $15.

To register, call 617-227-0270 or visit

West End photographs

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. For more details, 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 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 further 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 February.

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