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

Esplanade 5K

The Esplanade Association will host the annual Esplanade 5K race along the pathways of the Charles River Esplanade from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 18.

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.

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 $60 on the day. 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 Niv Harnam in concert underneath the fountain at noon from Monday to Friday, May 20 to 24 at the Brewer Plaza, Boston Common.

A native of Kibbutz Tzuba, Israel, Harnam is a pianist, composer and arranger. He is currently a film scoring major at Berklee College of Music.

Visit for further information on this free program.

Artful adventures

Staff from the Museum of Fine Arts will lead a free program “Artful Adventures” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, May 20 at the West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St.

Children will be able to take a closer look at some of the museum’s art, hear stories behind each work of art and tell their own stories as they make sculpted clay creations to take home.

Materials will be provided. Admission is free.

Call 617-523-3957 for further information.

Boston Ballet story time

The West End Branch Library, 151 Cambridge St., will offer story time with the Boston Ballet from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21.

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.

Poet’s theater

The Boston Athenaeum, 10 ½ Beacon St., will present the Poets’ Theatre in “Voices in the Room” from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21.

Poet Charles Coe and New England Hip Hop Woman of the Year Amanda Shea will lead a group of poets in a performance highlighting the diversity and dynamism in Boston poetry today.

Coe’s published works include “All Sins Forgiven: Poems for My Parents” and “Picnic on the Moon.” He is an adjunct professor of English at Salve Regina University where he teaches poetry and non-fiction.

Shea is a spoken word artist and artist manager. She has performed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the MFA and was the host for the Boston Art and Soul Festival.

Admission is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.

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

Lunchtime concert

King’s Chapel, corner of School and Tremont streets, will present the Alison LaRosa Montez and Heinrich Christensen in concert at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21.

Flautist Montez and organist Christensen will perform “Sonata I” by Pietro Locatelli and Daniel Pinkham’s “Miracles.”

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

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

Gallery talk and tour

The Boston Athenaeum, 10½ Beacon St., will host an up close tour at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 22.

Docent Clive Martin will lead a gallery talk in “Athena at the Athenaeum,” a look at the Goddess of Wisdom’s presence in the library and her place in the ancient world, focusing on the towering sculptures of Athena and Sophocles and the monumental head of Zeus that grace the Athenaeum’s first floor.

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

Walt Whitman at 200

The Boston Athenaeum, 10 ½ Beacon St., will “Full of Life Now: Walt Whitman at 200” from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 23.

In celebration of the bicentennial of America’s greatest poet, Walt Whitman, the Athenaeum will present baritone Stephan David Hewitt singing “Full of Life Now: Walt Whitman at 200,” a concert of original song-settings of Whitman’s passionate, intimate, visionary and ever-radical lyrics, set to music by Gary Avram Glickman. Sharing the stage, the duo will alternate between reciting Whitman’s lyrics and performing the songs inspired by them. Glickman, a psychologist, novelist and poet himself, will recite most of the lyrics, and baritone Hewitt will sing and play the piano.

A reception will follow the musical program.

Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. Registration is required and can be made online at or by calling 617-720-7600.

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 22 and remain through sundown on Monday, May 27.

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 23.

Visit for more details.

18th century porcelain

The China Students’ Club of Boston, America’s oldest ceramics study group, will host the annual meeting and tea at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 23 at King’s Chapel Parish House, 64 Beacon St.

The public is invited to the talk “Boars’ Heads on the Table: 18th Century Porcelain Animal Tureens” with William R. Sargent, senior curator in Chinese Art, Bonhams.

For more information, visit

Constructing King’s Chapel

A special tour to highlight Boston Preservation Month, “Constructing King’s Chapel: An Architecture and Material Culture Tour” will be held at 6 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 23 and 30 at King’s Chapel, 58 Tremont St.

Visitors will explore the church’s 333-year history and uncover the many layers of King’s Chapel’s past, literally and figuratively, as they explore the church as both a historic and living place. This tour focuses not only on the literal construction and adornment of the church, but also how its congregation over time has continually added meaning to the space. They learn about how changes over time — to the building, congregation, and landscape of Boston — have constructed how King’s Chapel is seen and understood as a historic place today.

Tickets are $10 with military and student discounts.

Visit or send an email to to register and for more information.

Tours of Beacon Hill

Boston By Foot is offering tours of Beacon Hill from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, now through Oct. 30, meeting at the Massachusetts State House steps on Beacon Street.

The tour travels picturesque streets from the golden dome of the State House to the elegant homes of Louisburg Square, highlighting examples of early American architecture with particular emphasis on the work of Charles Bulfinch.

Participants will experience Beacon Hill’s ornate past, from its rural beginnings to the vision of the Mount Vernon proprietors, and hear about the lives of its prominent citizens while walking among this historic collection of Federal and Greek Revival row houses.

Tickets are free for members, $13 for adults and $8 for children if purchased online in advance, or an additional $2 if purchased from the guide.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-367-2345.

Swan boats return

The famous swan boats have returned to the Public Gardens. 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.

Hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through June 19 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 20 through Labor Day.

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

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., through May.

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