Support International Cultural Activity Retain Access to Visas for Artists Impacted by Executive Order
On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order to implement new screening, visa issuance, and admissions procedures for individuals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, effective March 16, 2017. While those who already possess an approved O or P non- immigrant visa may travel to the United States, new visa approvals are suspended for at least 90 days following implementation of the order, and artist eligibility for case-by-case waivers is unclear.
American arts organizations and artists—in communities large and small across our country—provide an important public service and advance international diplomacy by presenting foreign guest artists from across the globe in performances, educational events, and cultural programs that are highly valued by U.S. audiences. International cultural exchange uniquely supports a diversity of viewpoints and contributes to international peace and mutual understanding.
The application of the new travel restrictions to nonimmigrant artists can cost American artists that perform alongside international artists important employment opportunities, inflict economic harm on our nation’s arts sector, and have a long-lasting effect on the ability of U.S. artists to tour, perform, and create art abroad.
Congress has repeatedly expressed bipartisan support for improving the U.S. artist visa process. The United States should be easing the visa burden for international artists. As the Department of Homeland Security takes next steps in its review of national security measures, we urge policy leaders to retain access to artist visas and support opportunities for world-wide cultural exchange.
American Association of Independent Music
American Composers Forum
Association of Performing Arts Professionals
Chamber Music America
Future of Music Coalition
League of American Orchestras
Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education
National Council for the Traditional Arts
National Performance Network
Network of Ensemble Theaters
North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents
The Performing Arts Alliance
The Recording Academy
Theatre Communications Group