hip hop music

April 3, 2008

Letting Artists In The Damn Country

This is wack, but not surprising. Hopefully soon to improve.

New Bill May Speed U.S. Visas for Artists

When it comes to artists trying to obtain visas, notorious performers like Amy Winehouse usually get the headlines. That British soul singer’s application to come to the United States for the Grammy Awards in February was initially denied, with speculation that the refusal was because of her alleged use of illegal drugs.

But as the House of Representatives voted this week to speed up the visa approval process for some foreign artists and entertainers, the heads of arts organization said attention was finally being paid to the real problem: the time, money and complexity involved in getting visas for lower-profile artists, including dancers, singers, musicians and actors.

“It has become a huge burden,” said Nigel Redden, director of the Lincoln Center Festival, the renowned arts showcase that this summer will bring together 57 performances and events from nine countries.

“We hire someone in January whose only job is to do visas,” he said. Once, when the festival sought to bring in a cast of Chinese acrobats and soloists, a “visa wrangler” in China asked for $75,000 to smooth the way for the group to travel to the embassy and get the necessary papers in order.

“We’re turning the United States into fortress America,” Mr. Redden said. “It turns everyone into an enemy. It loses us friends around the world and respect around the world.”

Posted by jsmooth995 at April 3, 2008 11:32 AM

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