Thursday, April 06, 2006

Yo Yo Ma testifies in Congress

Here is a link to an article about Yo Yo Ma testifying in Congress.

Arts Presenters President/CEO Sandra Gibson and world-renowned musician, Yo-Yo Ma, testified on visa challenges in the performing arts as part of the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee's hearing on balancing security and openness in the visa process.
"There is a real desire, even a need, for cultural richness and diversity today. American audiences are thirsty for new cultural experiences and are eager to understand the inside of these foreign places," said Ma.

Also here is a quote from the Peabody opp bulletin;
April 6 Yo-Yo Ma testifies on Capitol Hill about artists' visa problems. - In Wednesday's (4/5) Washington Post, Christopher Lee reports that cellist Yo-Yo Ma testified before the House Committee on Government Reform on Tuesday, urging the committee "to simplify a visa process that he says has stifled cultural exchanges by creating 'extraordinarily high' barriers to bringing artists to the United States." Lee writes that Ma, whose Silk Road Ensemble "organizes international tours of musicians from all over the world," told the committee: "Encouraging artists and institutions to foster these artistic exchanges -- bringing foreign musicians to this country and sending our performers to visit them -- is crucial ... But the high financial cost and the lengthy timeline make these programs difficult to execute and to maintain." Lee adds that "other witnesses from the business and arts worlds sounded the same note," noting that "visa applicants in many parts of the world have had to endure months-long delays in obtaining interviews." Lee writes: "Tony Edson, deputy assistant secretary of state for visa services, said the State Department is devoting more resources to meet growing demand, especially in China and India." (Daniel J. Wakin also reports on Yo-Yo Ma's testimony in Wednesday's New York Times.)

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