News for Presenters

Just a bit of news for presenters if you have missed it. A few news items Association of Performing Arts Presenters has been involved in.

The first is the testimony that Yo-Yo Ma and APAP President Sandra Gibson have given to the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee about the deleterious effect visa restrictions have had on the efforts of U.S. presenters to bring international performers to the country.

The APAP site has copies of both speakers’ testimony as well as a Powerpoint presentation Gibson made and 14 pages of media coverage of their testimony.

There is some good news/bad news about visa processing on the APAP site as well. The good news is that as of April 1 all O and P visas for performers will be processed at the Vermont Citizenship and Immigration office. This is good news because Vermont has the reputation of being the quickest processing office–or did before all the applications got dumped on them.

It is important that you send your applications directly there because sending them to any of the other three offices means they will have to be forwarded on to Vermont which will only delay your processing. The Vermont station address is on the APAP site.

The bad news is that Vermont has been instructed to send part of their load to the California office which has the reputation of being the slowest office. Because you must send your application to Vermont, if you live in Los Angeles, there is a good chance your paperwork will be coming back for a visit quite soon.

It only add insult to injury if you lived in L.A. and mailed it to the California office only to have them mail it to Vermont who then turn around and send it back to California for processing.

The entire visa situation is a real big deal for APAP. (And for full disclosure, I had to cancel a show myself because of visa complications. So I am making a big deal about it, too.) They are actively soliciting feedback about any problems people have with visa processing asking people to email Jim Doumas, Government Affairs Director at jdoumas@artspresenters.org

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.

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