Saturday, March 13, 2004
'Mr Ferrer can't be with us tonight'
Guardian Unlimited: "The results of all this seem pretty clear. As Opera America's Scorca puts it: 'These procedures are leading to diminished exposure of American audiences to great artists and making it harder for US artists to get work abroad.' But the stakes, many believe, are even higher than that. 'Art is cultural diplomacy,' says Sandra Gibson, president of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in Washington, which lobbies Congress and USCIS on behalf of hundreds of members. 'And it's just as important as it was during the cold war. It's as important as when [pianist] Van Cliburn went to the Soviet Union to perform and changed Khrushchev's mind about the United States.' "

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