In several European countries and in the USA there are national campaigns against visa and work permits restrictions in relationship to the artists. Amongst the inititatives are:
IG World Music Austria have started an online-petition/campaign called ‘ABGESAGT (which means ‘Canceled’) – no art without artists! no culture without culture-makers!’
IG World Music Austria ask for an immediate change in the aliens law (artists lost their undeterminded residency status with the last changes in the Austrian law in 2006) and for easy visa-issuing for artist on tour.
The National Campaign for the Arts, NCA, is the United Kingdom’s only independent lobbying organisation representing all the arts. It provides a voice for the arts world in all its diversity. It seeks to safeguard, promote and develop the arts and win public and political recognition for the importance of the arts as a key element in our national culture:
Artists from Abroad
Recognising the visa and work permit challenges the American Symphony Orchestra League and Association of Performing Arts Presenters have consulted with nationally-recognized experts to create Artists from Abroad – the most complete and up-to-date online resource for foreign guest artists, their managers, and performing arts organisations visiting the USA:
US Cuba Cultural Exchange
US Cuba Cultural Exchange – a national network in the US of artists and presenters – has created a campaign towards changing the current restrictions and the ban the US government has imposed infringing on the rights of artists in both countries to collaborate and create. A letter to the American president Bush bears the signatures of more than 200 actors, musicians, filmmakers, and producers such as Harry Belafonte, Ry Cooder, Peter Coyote, Danny Glover, Sean Penn, Bonnie Raitt, Gloria Steinem and Alice Walker:
Visiting artists campaign makes waves in the British House of Lords
Manifesto Club’s Visiting Artists Campaign featured in a debate in the House of Lords in the United Kingdom on the effects of the points-based system on the arts and academia. The Manifesto Club has been working with the Earl of Clancarty, who opened the debate, and Lord Clement Jones, who contributed. Lords lined up to criticise the points-based visa system; the government was firmly on the defensive. The exchange can be read in full here.
This coincided with an important Greater London Authority survey, showing the damaging effect of visa rules on the arts. See full media coverage in the Guardian, the Stage, Artsadmin, and Migrants’ Rights Network.
Round Table on the Grassroots Arts, 5 April 2011: The Manifesto Club is partnering Artsadmin on a discussion about the effects of visa rules on the grassroots arts. If you are an independent artist/curator/director with a story to tell, do come along.
Campaign latest: Manick Govinda reports on the shocking story of an African artist barred from visiting the UK because he is single.
See Valerie Hartwich’s blog for the latest visa stories, including south east Asian criticism of UK visa red tape, and why the world’s greatest pianist won’t visit Britain.