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“Philadelphia: the Nation’s First World Heritage City” with Melissa Stevens

October 14, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

A recording of the talk is available on the APT Facebook page and APT YouTube channel

On Wed. October 14, the Association of Philadelphia Tour Guides (APT) will hold its monthly meeting. It kicks off at 7 pm with a lecture, “What Does it Mean to be the Nation’s First World Heritage City?” by Melissa Stevens of the Global Philadelphia Association.

Philadelphia joined the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, thereby becoming the first “World Heritage City” in the United States. With this designation, it joined a community of about 300 World Heritage Cities around the world. But what does this distinction mean? Global Philadelphia Association’s Melissa Stevens introduces the “what” and “why” of the World Heritage City designation and how this unique status provides an excellent opportunity to explore the city’s diverse heritage and global connections with tour groups of all ages.

Melissa Stevens is a cultural anthropologist with a passion for world heritage and cross-cultural exchange. A native of the Philadelphia area, Melissa received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Maryland in 2014. She was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to conduct her dissertation research on local women’s engagement in a national heritage tourism and community development program in northern Tanzania. Melissa also worked as a project consultant for the NGO Counterpart International on a sustainable tourism development project in Vietnam in 2007 and 2008 and has taught anthropology and global studies courses at Drexel, Widener, Philadelphia University, and the University of Maryland.

She currently works for the Global Philadelphia Association, managing the World Heritage City Project in partnership with the City of Philadelphia. The Project was established after Philadelphia became the nation’s first World Heritage City in 2015 and seeks to promote an inclusive understanding of the city’s history and culture, with many of the Project’s initiatives focused on public outreach and education.

The lecture will be followed by the general APT meeting and some social zoom time.

APT meetings are open to aspiring and working tour guides as well as anyone with an interest in Philadelphia-focused history. For the foreseeable future all meetings are free for anyone and all are welcome!

APT has decided to waive 2021 membership fees for all 2020 members. If you have not yet joined or renewed for 2020, now is the time!


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October 14, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm