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PLEASE SUPPORT THE “ARTS” ACT (“ARTISTS REQUIRE TIMELY SERVICE”)

SUPPORT THE “ARTS” ACT (“ARTISTS REQUIRE TIMELY SERVICE”)

Although some of the artists presented by the Green Willow Folk Club are US-based, for almost 35 years we have relied heavily on the availability of touring Celtic and British Isles performers from overseas. In recent years, however, there has been an ongoing issue in which many of these performers have been unable to get their required “P” or “O” visas approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services within the 14 day period specified in legislation passed by Congress in 1991. On top of this, the available “expedition” of these cases involves a “Premium Processing Service” imposed on a per-case basis by CIS of $1,225, which in most cases is well beyond the resources of most petitioners (including small, non-profit arts organizations like Green Willow).

Legislation to address this problem and reform the performer visa process was recently introduced in bi-partisan fashion by Senators Patrick Leahy (D, Vermont) and Orrin Hatch (R, Utah) in the form of the “Artists Require Timely Service” Act (S. 2466). The link below to Senator Leahy’s website gives a good description of this proposed legislation:

https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/leahy-and-hatch-introduce-bipartisan-arts-act-to-speed-processing-of-visas-for-visiting-artists

If you enjoy the opportunity to see a wide variety of artists from around the world perform at your local concert halls, folk clubs, coffee houses and other venues, we encourage you to contact your Senators to express your support for this legislation. The following site provides contact info for all 100 US Senators:

https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

For those of you in the immediate four-state “Green Willow” area, here is the contact info for those Senators:

DELAWARE

The Hon. Senator Thomas R. Carper (D – DE)
513 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2441
Contact: www.carper.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-senator-carper

The Hon. Christopher A. Coons (D – DE)
127A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5042
Contact: www.coons.senate.gov/contact

PENNSYLVANIA

The Hon. Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. (D – PA)
393 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6324
Contact: www.casey.senate.gov/contact/

The Hon. Senator Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA)
248 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4254
Contact: www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact

MARYLAND

The Hon. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D – MD)
509 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4524
Contact: www.cardin.senate.gov/contact/

The Hon. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D – MD)
110 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4654
Contact: www.vanhollen.senate.gov/content/contact-senator

NEW JERSEY

The Hon. Senator Cory A. Booker (D – NJ)
359 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3224
Contact: www.booker.senate.gov/?p=contact

The Hon. Senator Robert Menendez (D – NJ)
528 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4744
Contact: www.menendez.senate.gov/contact