Protecting an Arizona Icon

Conservation of Mission San Xavier is focus of Tucson and Phoenix events with PBS travel adventure

Conservation and preservation of Arizona’s Mission San Xavier are the focus of Tucson and Phoenix events Feb. 5-6 with PBS travel adventure series host David Yetman.

Arizona’s Mission San Xavier is on the international map. In 1963, Mission San Xavier was designated as a National Historic Landmark. In 2015, the World Monuments Fund added the Mission to its prestigious “Watch List” of the most culturally significant, endangered buildings from around the world. In 2018, the Mission and Patronato San Xavier were selected by The National Fund for Sacred Places (a program of Partners for Sacred Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation)—as the first project to be funded in Arizona and one of just 44 projects across the country.

A new mission statement for Patronato San Xavier was adopted in April 2019. It expands on the original to include Patronato’s research-based conservation approach and the extensive education activities centered at Mission San Xavier: Patronato San Xavier funds and directs ethical conservation, conducts scientific research and interprets the significance of Mission San Xavier del Bac, a National Historic Landmark, in the community of Wa:k, part of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Patronato San Xavier’s new 2020 Conservation Management Plan builds on the national and international recognition of this Arizona icon by charting the course and prioritizing the conservation and preservation of Mission San Xavier over the next decade.

“It is a plan three years in the making and the first comprehensive multi-year plan in our 42-year history,” says Barbara Peck, president of Patronato San Xavier board of directors. “We’ve moved to a more professional approach over the last five years, which, together with the recognition we’ve received, has made this kind of planning ahead possible. Together with our long-time donors and the Partners for Sacred Places, we also are expanding our fundraising statewide and nationally.”

Yetman is a research social scientist at the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona since 1992, specializing in peoples and ecology of northwest Mexico and the southwestern United States. In addition to authoring numerous books and articles, David is host and co-producer of two PBS travel/adventure series: In the Americas with David Yetman and The Desert Speaks.

Saving San Xavier: Protecting an Arizona Icon

Tucson | Feb. 5, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Arizona Inn, Tucson Room, 2200 E. Elm St., Tucson

Phoenix | Feb. 6, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Heard Museum, The Encanto Room, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information and tickets, visit 

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