US music institutions decry travel ban

Two major US music organisations have released statements decrying the travel ban issued by new US President Donald Trump. OPERA America and the League of American Orchestras (LAO) have both said travel restrictions will have a negative impact on the performing arts. The ban prevents citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from travelling to the US until 27 April, although the ban may be extended beyond that.

OPERA America stated that it will ‘have a damaging impact on the entire arts community,’ as the ‘American public is denied the opportunity to experience unique virtuosity.

‘Opera in particular benefits from the creativity of diverse talent that includes singers, directors, composers and librettists, and costume and scenic designers…great artistic talent should not be restricted by national boundaries.’

LAO said it ‘firmly believes that concerns related to national security can be addressed while also continuing to welcome people beyond our borders.

‘In a time of unprecedented divisions in our country, intentionally listening to the full spectrum of voices is key to our nation’s progress. Democracy, like music, flourishes when we encourage, acknowledge, and respectfully engage with a diversity of ideas.’

LAO’s Artists from Abroad website has up-to-date information on who the travel ban applies to and what measures (if any) artists travelling to the US from abroad need to take.