2017 World Heritage City Celebration

Article by Will Becker, GPA Ambassador

On September 7th, Global Philadelphia Association hosted its annual World Heritage City Celebration at the Crystal Tea Ballroom in Center City Philadelphia. The date also coincides with the Solidarity Day of World Heritage Cities, in which the 280 World Heritage Cities around the world celebrate their status as well.

500 guests were in attendance, and the night was full of festivities that encapsulated the global capacity of Philadelphia. Guests were greeted by artists and performers from the Korean Cultural Foundation, the Universal African Dance Ensemble, and the India Music and Dance Society.

Once everyone was seated, the formal celebrations began with remarks from Executive Director of GPA Zabeth Teelucksingh, former Govenor of Pennsylvania and Mayor of Philadelphia Ed Rendell, and President and CEO of Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau Julie Coker-Graham. Mayor Jim Kenney then introduced the three international World Heritage City guests, including Lee Minaidis of the City of Rhodes, Italy who gave some brief remarks as well. Board Chair of GPA John Smith then gave updates on the World Heritage Strategic Plan and its implementation this year, with particular respect to the increasing opportunities in the field of WHC education. After some brief remarks from U.S Senator Bob Casey, Peter Selfridge of SAP then introduced the keynote speaker CNN Anchor Jake Tapper, who was also awarded the Distinguished Global Journalism Award. Jake Tapper, who is also a native of Philadelphia, spoke about the importance of Philadelphia as a World Heritage City, and how the global potential and prowess of Philadelphia can be fully appreciated in todays globalizing world.

All in all, the event was a fantastic evening of the international capacity of Philadelphia, and the city is looking forward to next year’s celebration! 

View pictures of the event