Obstacle for International Artists

November 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

There are multiple reasons why I chose to focus on today’s topic: The difficulties for international artists to receive a US visa in order to perform in the States. First, being an international student myself, I’m familiar with the application process and know very well how nerve-racking it always is, to wait for the visa to be processed. Secondly, previously been involved in the visa applications process for clients of a major arts agency, I remember also been under high pressure, because there were not only expensive flights being booked, but also contracts signed that needed to be fulfilled. Luckily the artist’s visas were always issued on time in my case. Third, The New York Times just released an article, in which artists that should have performed at the White Light Festival at Lincoln Center today were not as fortunate. The Manganiyar Seduction “a caste of Indian musicians of Muslim origin from western Rajasthan state” was supposed to perform songs celebrating Hindu deities at the festival that is “dedicated to transcendence in music”. As officials from Lincoln Center said, visa applications were made in May and still at the end of last week only half of the group members had their visas. It was said, that by now the missing documents were granted, however the scheduled performances had to be postponed. Which leads me to the question: Why seems the visa application process for international artist still to be as difficult as it used to be? What about the attempts being made to simplify the process? Major orchestras, dance theater companies, and individual artists have questioned their appearances in the US due to the restrictions by the Immigration Services and will continue in the future if nothing changes. If you support the idea of cultural exchange and visiting artists programs in the US and would like to take action, visit this site of the Americans for the Arts: http://capwiz.com/artsusa/issues/alert/?alertid=5426146

– Ricarda

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