Philadelphia's World Heritage Week 2024: Celebrating Cultural Heritage and Community Partnerships

Linh Vo
world heritage week

Since Philadelphia was chosen as the first World Heritage City in America in 2015, Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) has been a proud intermediary between the city and individuals domestically and abroad. Together with the city of Philadelphia and our valued community partners, the Global Philadelphia Association successfully organized ten activities during the ninth annual World Heritage Week (WHW). We honored Philadelphia's global heritages from May 19 to May 25 with a variety of events, including discussions with diplomats, outdoor activities for youth, artistic and cultural events, informational tours, and crucial discussions about the city's future growth.  

With the opening of the Woodmere Art Exhibit on Sunday the 19th, GPA officially began WHW 2024. Eight Philadelphia district schools were involved in this art education initiative offered by the Woodmere Art Museum in partnership with Global Philadelphia Association. Attendees were welcome to explore the student artwork during the opening celebration, which featured paintings influenced by Venezuelan-born artist Henry Bermudez, who currently resides in Philadelphia. Zabeth Teelucksingh, the President of GPA, and Event Coordinator Gary Wooten joined us for this amazing occasion where we got to meet the young, gifted artists. The collection's brilliant hues, patterns, and striking textures evoke the richness of Latin America's rainforests as well as the artist's affinity for the region's mythological figures.  

On Monday, GPA participated in a comprehensive conversation between H.E. Jesper Moller Sørensen, the Danish ambassador to the United States, and Lauren Swartz, the CEO of World Affairs Council. The ambassador mentioned that the opening of a direct flight from Philadelphia International Airport to Copenhagen, Denmark, should present the Greater Philadelphia Region with more economic potential. Mr. Sorensen said that prior data from other American cities indicates that direct routes—which are particularly appealing due to their reduced travel times—usually result in an increase in commerce and investment between two locations. He also answered several questions from the public and business representatives. In addition, the Danish ambassador discussed his plans to share the insights he gained from the trip with Danish enterprises and other relevant parties at the event.  world affairs council event

Without mentioning City Hall, the most recognizable structure in Philadelphia and one of its icons, it wouldn't be WHW. After the insightful conversation with the World Affairs Council, GPA invited our Young Professional Network for an evening tour at City Hall. The tour, which covered the building's exterior and inner design, lasted around forty-five minutes and covered a handful of the hall's impressive 700 rooms. We had the chance to see some of the largest rooms in the building, such as the opulent Mayor's Reception Room, which is decorated with pictures of the city's past mayors, and the ornate City Council Caucus Room, where council members openly discuss and vote on laws.  city hall tour

The Welcoming Center and PHILADELPHIA250 hosted "Dare to Declare! A Conversation About the Declaration of Independence" on Wednesday, May 22nd. Members of the GPA team met with representatives of different Philadelphia organizations and individuals to talk about the history, present, and future of the city and how each person in our community may contribute to its growth. It was an intriguing discussion because it made visible the contrasting viewpoints of the younger generation and the elder generation who grew up in different eras of Philadelphia’s history. The event was highly informative and undoubtedly sparked new interest in the younger folks to be more involved with the city. 

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #2 Unveiling - Zero Hunger on Thursday, May 23rd, was one of the highlights of World Heritage Week 2024. The importance of the SDGs continue to play a significant role in GPA’s work as we intend to increase public awareness of these crucial sustainable concerns on a local and global level. Sponsored by The Giant Company, the mural was created by New York-born and Philadelphia-based artist Branche Coverdale. It features the purpose of SDG #2, which aspires to defeat hunger, achieve food security and enhance nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. Director of GPA Zabeth Teelucksingh, CEO of Philabundance Loree D. Jones Brown, Biodiversity Specialist at American Museum of Natural History Erin Betley and Tim Santoro, the vice president of The Giant Food Company for the Greater Philadelphia Region, were present at the ceremony to discuss the unveiling and grant’s impact on their work and the initiatives being taken to eradicate hunger in Philadelphia.  

sdg 2 unveiling

Philadelphia's World Heritage Week 2024 was a huge success, showcasing the city's diverse cultural heritage and continued dedication to international cooperation. The wide range of activities, which included talks on historical topics, art displays, and intelligent conversations on sustainable development and economic expansion, emphasized Philadelphia's distinction as the country's first World Heritage City. In addition to honoring the city's fascinating history, these events encouraged thought-provoking discussions on Philadelphia's future, ensuring that it continues to be a global example of both innovation and legacy.

Interested in checking out all of the events that took place? Check out our World Heritage Week webpage below. 

world heritage week 2024 events

Arts and Culture
Emerging International Journalists Program