Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Department of Homeland Security is currently proposing to increase the fees for P2 visas for foreign performing artists by up to 53%, from $460 to $705. This would be a huge increase for our Canadian members who already endure an uncertain and expensive process to obtain performing visas. We all benefit — and our music scene as a whole benefits – from exchanging and learning from each other, and this would make it much more difficult for our Canadian brothers and sisters — or any foreign artist — to tour and perform in the U.S.
Local 1000 is unique in being the only local of the AFM to have significant membership on both sides of the US-Canadian border. Canadians have no say in shaping US government policy, so although this is an urgent issue for musicians across Canada, Canadian locals of the AFM are not able to have any say about these proposed changes. Local 1000, on the other hand, can have a say through our US members.
Please take a few minutes and make your voice heard for your Canadian brothers and sisters. We urge all our US members to visit the website for commenting on the proposed changes and register your opposition. Commenting is open until December 30th.
The AFM and other US arts organizations have written to the Department of Homeland Security to protest these changes. For more information, contact Liana White email@example.com.
Here is a sample comment (thanks to Local 1000 member Cathy Fink for letting us use her comment as the basis for this):
“I am strongly opposed to increased fees for visiting artists. As a full time professional musician, I do not feel threatened by artists from other countries and I believe that the opportunity to share their art with us is critical to using the arts as a viable method of cultural and personal exchange. The person to person impact of cultural exchange is both a beautiful and critical way to find what brings us together, what we have in common, and to discuss what we differ on. I urge the Department of Homeland Security to make it easier, not harder, and less costly instead of more expensive, for artists from abroad to tour and perform in the US.”