St. Mary's Basilica

St. Mary's Basilica, a.k.a. The Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the oldest Catholic church in Phoenix. Its exterior is also an excellent example of Mission Revival architecture.

Though originally an adobe church, the current structure dates back to 1913, when the Mission Revival exterior was built under the direction of W.J. Rifley. Last year, St. Mary's celebrated the 100th anniversary of its 1915 dedication.

The Mission Revival exterior features round arches, curved parapets, deep windows, arched doorways, and four domes that span the length of the building. The dome located over the main altar features a cupola that provides additional interior light.

Mission Revival became popular when the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railways embraced the style for train depots, resort hotels, and lunch rooms in the early 20th century. The church's interior is Romanesque style, laid out in cruciform. The Monroe Street entrance marks the foot of the cross. Dedicated to St. Mary, the church's upper stained glass windows are graced with scenes depicting her in each one.

A self-guided tour pamphlet can be purchased for $2 from the basilica's Via Assisi Gift Shop next door.

Zarco Guerrero, mask-maker and musician, knows about the power to transform with his ethnographic masks, with his physicality, and with his words.

Catch him at Dia de Los Muertos PHX Festival, a free event held at Steele Indian School Park, using his highly expressive calaca masks to tell stories that mix humor and a zest for life with remembering those who have passed. Or, find him collaborating with Childsplay at their fall event, the El Puente Theatre Festival & Mask Procession, where he performs as Zarco Guerrero and the Dancing Dragons.

The Mesa native is a member of the Cultural Coalition, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary and aims to provide unique cultural programs dedicated to the promotion and development of indigenous arts and artists in Arizona. Guerrero was greatly influenced by Cesar Chavez as a young man, and joined his movement for farm workers. The civil-rights leader inspired Guerrero's practice of using art-making as a tool for social change.

Wherever you catch him, Zarco Guerrero will be drawing the audience in with his compelling human stories.

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