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While it might not always feel like it outside, it’s officially spring! This month, our roundup of things to do north of Boston focuses on some of the region’s fantastic art happenings. You’ll learn about exhibits opening at museums like the PEM and smaller venues, too, along with live performances throughout the area. You’ll find some non-arts events, too — especially ones that welcome springtime! Read on for ten things to do this April on the North Shore.

Peter Concannon at the Wenham-Hamilton Library

Through April 27

Now through April 27, Beverly resident Peter Concannon exhibits 20 original works at the Wenham-Hamilton Library. He works in Gyotaku, the Japanese art of fish printing, capturing the likenesses of local species from squid to striped bass. A launch operator at a local yacht club,  he’s also been a recreational lobsterman for decades. When customers share catch with him, he prints the most beautiful specimens onto rice paper, creating his award-winning prints.

Shows at the Shalin Liu in Rockport

April 3 – 30

Rockport Music puts on tons of exciting shows at the Shalin Liu performance center this April. Highlights include shows by jazz musicians Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt on April 13, folk artist Jake Blout on April 20, and roots rock band the Adam Ezra Group on April 21. They’ll also host an evening with Holocaust survivor Janet Applefield on April 7, presented by Chabad Cape Ann.

“Gertrude Cawein” at the Hammond Castle Museum

April 5 – 28

From April 5 through April 28, the Hammond Castle Museum exhibits work by Eric Pape, a Cape Ann painter during the early 20th century who designed the Tablet Rock Memorial in Gloucester’s Stage Fort Park. The heart of the exhibit is a portrait of Gertrude Cawein, on loan from the the Filson Historical Society in Louisville, Kentucky. The exhibit displays almost 60 other pieces from his portfolio, many of which haven’t been seen publicly since his death in 1938. During school vacation week, from April 15 through 19, the museum offers free admission to kids twelve and under with a reservation.

“In the Round” at the Cape Ann Museum

April 6 – June 23

The Cape Ann Museum opens a sculpture exhibit on April 6, “In the Round,” featuring the work of Cape Ann sculptors. Featured prominently are works by Charles Grafly, one of this country’s premiere sculptors of the early 20th century, along with Morgan Faulds Pike’s plaster scale model for the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Memorial.

“Hello, Dolly!” at the NSMT

April 13

On the weekend of April 13, “Hello, Dolly!” comes to North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly for one night only. The show that first appeared on Broadway in 1964 has become an enduring hit, following the antics of socialite-turned-matchmaker Dolly Levi (played by Barbra Streisand in the 1969 movie) during one day in New York. Voices of Hope, a not-for-profit community of artists who raise funds for cancer research through theatrical shows, puts on two performances of the musical — on Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m.

Aïda Muluneh, Addis Neger, from the Mirror of the Soul series, 2019. Inkjet print. Museum
purchase by exchange. 2023.33.4. Peabody Essex Museum. Courtesy of the artist. © Aïda

“Ethiopia at the Crossroads” at the PEM

April 13 – July 7

Opening April 13, the Peabody Essex Museum’s new exhibit, “Ethiopia at the Crossroads,” displays over 200 objects that span 2,000 years of Ethiopian history. Because of its location in the Horn of Africa, the country is a junction of different religions, climates, and cultures — the story of which this exhibit tells through both ancient artifacts like religious icons, gospel books, and carvings, along with artwork from contemporary Ethiopian artists.

April vacation week at the PEM 

April 15, 18, 19

The PEM has a few special family-friendly events slated for this April vacation week. On Monday, Thursday, Cambridge-based artist Zhonghe (Elena) Li hosts traditional Chinese paper cutting workshops at 1 and 2 p.m. Plus, learning about dragons in art with a scavenger hunt that’ll take you all over the museum in an effort to find all nine dragons for a prize. On Friday from noon to 4 p.m. the museum also screens short documentaries about their Yin Yu Tang House exhibit, a whole late 18th-century Chinese house from the Anhui province. And, as always, folks 16 and under get free admission to the museum.

Stone Zoo | Photograph courtesy of Zoo New England

April vacation week at Stone Zoo

April 15 – 19

This April vacation week, Stone Zoo in Stoneham offers special kids’ programming from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Friday. The days’ activities, included in general admission, are focused on teaching kids all about pollinators, the insects and animals that help spring flowers bloom. Each day includes a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, a planting workshop, and a zookeeper chat.

Appleton Farms April vacation week

April 15 – 19

A school vacation camp running April 15 through 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., this week of springtime activities sees kids exploring the fields and forests of Appleton farms. Each day includes a hike, a theme-based craft, and farm learning activities. Campers should come prepared with a snack and lunch, along with outdoor gear like hats, gloves, and boots.

Newburyport Choral Society

Newburyport Choral Society Spring 2024 Concert

May 4 – 5

In early May, the Newburyport Choral Society puts on its spring concert, entitled “Resilience and Hope.” Performed at the new Pentucket Regional High School Auditorium in West Newbury, the show features compositions by female composers like French prodigy Lili Boulanger, contemporary African-American composer Rosephanye Powell, and Hye-Young Cho, composer-in-residence for the National Chorus of Korea. The chorus is directed by Dr. Minji Kim, the current assistant professor of music and director of choirs at Gordon College in Wenham.