June 25, 2013

Arts Action News: The Arts Require Timely Service (“ARTS”) Act!

From Americans for the Arts 

Last night, 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 our 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 will continue working with our coalition partners 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.