Important news in the world of Arts Advocacy. Tonight I received an email update on a vote that took place tonight (June 24, 2013).
This evening, the U.S. Senate approved an amendment, by a vote of 67-27, to the comprehensive immigration bill currently being considered on the Senate floor. Tonight’s vote was on a bipartisan amendment that included a broad set of provisions. One of the provisions included in this amendment was sponsored by Senators Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and is known as the Arts Require Timely Service (“ARTS”) Act!
The ARTS Act seeks to improve visa processing for foreign guest artists preparing to perform in the United States. Americans for the Arts and many others, especially those in the performing arts, have been working on this key legislation for years as a part of Arts Advocacy Day, and you can read more background about it in American for the Arts Issue Brief here.
The inclusion of the ARTS Act provision is an important step forward to ensuring efficient and reliable processing of nonprofit arts-related visa petitions. With the adoption of this bipartisan amendment, final Senate passage of the immigration bill is more assured and scheduled for this Thursday. Soon, the U.S. House of Representatives will begin drafting their version of an immigration bill, and Americans for the Arts and others will continue to work to get the ARTS Act included in the House legislation as well. You can take two minutes to write your members of Congress in support of this legislation now.
Please help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, you can play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today — it’s free and easy to join.
I urge my readers to take action, write, tweet, post on Facebook. But support this. Visiting artists can introduce us to and teach us new things just as we can introduce them to and teach them new things as well. Our arts community needs to be a global one and this is a step in the right direction.