Original call from Pearle Live Performance Europe (14/06/2021): 

To the attention of :
Charles Michel - President of the European Council and
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Joe Biden, President of the US


As EU and US leaders will meet in June, about 100 organisations from across Europe’s and America’s cultural and creative sectors are uniting their voices to call for attention to the EU-US cultural relations, of particular importance to recover from the Corona crisis.

The EU and the US are highly important export markets for culture. Cultural services accounted for 5,961.5 bln € of export to US in 2019 and for 2,575.1 of import in the EU[1].

The Corona-crisis has hit both trade partners severely. Concerts, performances and events stood still for more than a year, with no travelling and touring in either direction. According to a study[2] conducted by EY on the impact of the pandemic the music and performing arts sector in Europe were hit worst with 70% and 90% less turnover in 2020. It is expected that only towards the end of 2021 this will slowly resume, with severe consequences on the live events business between the US and the EU.

The cultural community needs a strong political signal which gives hope and prospect.

But the strongest obstacles to make this happen are the difficulties that artists, crew and cultural professionals encounter which relate to cumbersome and costly visa processing when travelling to the USA for the purpose of work and the great variety of conditions US artists face to obtain work permits in the different countries of the EU. Reducing the obstacles to visas and work permits is therefore an essential instrument to bring hope, future and a new start of cultural exchange between the two continents. Toward this ends, experts in the EU and US would be glad to jointly prepare recommendations, and we welcome the chance to provide you with these recommendations.

Whilst the US and EU can be proud of a thriving cultural exchange, we, the artist communities on both sides of the Atlantic call upon you for a solution-oriented approach as regards artist mobility. Artist mobility produces a backbone of additional trade (flights, hotels, catering, hire of local services, road haulage, local taxes, etcetera) and thus generate income for many other side industries.

Reducing the obstacles to visas and work permits is therefore an essential instrument to bring hope, future and a new start of cultural exchange between the two continents.

We thank you for your attention.


On behalf of the following signatories[3]

1 2Luck Concepts
2 5000 LTD
3 A2IM - American Association of Independent Music
4 Aakash Odedra Company
7 AFEM - Association For Electronic Music
8 AK Foundation for Dance Inc.
9 Akram Khan Company
10 alba KULTUR - Office for Global Music
11 Arena Resilience Alliance
12 Arts Midwest
13 Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académie de Musique
14 Association of Commercial Television in Europe
15 Association of Performing Arts Professionals
16 BBK – Bundesverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler
17 Between the Seas: Mediterranean Performing Arts
18 CEC ArtsLink
19 Centre Européen de Musique
20 Circostrada Network
21 Culture Action Europe
22 Dance Managers Collective
23 Dance/USA 2
25 Dutch Music Export
26 EDN - European Dancehouse Network
27 EJN - Europe Jazz Network
28 ELIA - globally connected European network for higher arts education 
29 Elsie management
31 Erwin Maas - Artists' manager
32 ESNS Eurosonic Noorderslag
33 Europa Distribution - The European Network of Independent Film Publishers and Distributors
34 European Circus Association
35 European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (ECCD)
36 European Cultural Foundation
37 European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO) 3
8 European Festivals Association
39 European Games Developer Federation (EGDF)
40 European Music Council
41 European Music Exporters Exchange - EMEE
42 European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA)
43 European Orchestra Federation EOFed
44 European Publishers Council
45 European Theatre Convention
46 FACE Foundation
47 FEDEC - European federation of professional circus schools
49 Federation for European Storytelling
50 Feld Entertainment, Inc.
51 female:pressure
52 Folk Alliance International
53 German Centre of the International Theatre Institute
54 gigmit 55 globalFEST
56 HowlRound Theatre Commons
57 IAO (International Artist Organisation)
58 ICMP -The International Confederation of Music Publishers
59 IETM - International network for contemporary performing arts
60 IFPI representing the recording industry worldwide
61 IMPALA - Independent Music Companies Association
62 IMPF (Independent Music Publishers International Forum)
63 IN SITU - European Platform for Artistic Creation in Public Space
64 Innovation Network of European Showcases (INES)
65 International Music Council
66 International Music Managers Forum
67 Internationale Gesellschaft der Bildenden Künste (IGBK) (German NC of International Association of Art IAA)
68 JM International
69 League of American Orchestras 7
0 Literature Across Frontiers
71 Live DMA - European network for live music venues, clubs and festivals
72 liveurope
73 Martin E. Segal Theatre Centre, The CUNY Graduate Center
74 Martinez Arts Consulting, ALC
75 MobiCulture
76 More Europe - external cultural relations
77 Musikhochschulen 78 NAMM - National Association of Music Merchants
80 National Performance Network
81 New Music USA
82 New York City Center
83 National Independent Venue Association (NIVA)
84 On the Move
85 Opera Europa
86 OPERA America
87 Pearle*-Live Performance Europe
88 PEN America
90 Production Services Association
91 REMA - Early Music in Europe
92 Res Artis
93 Roberto Cimetta Fund
94 Rosie Kay Dance Company
95 Sistema Europe
96 Skye Blue Productions
97 SOS - Save Our Spectrum
98 Taklit
99 Tamizdat Inc
100 Theatre Without Borders
101 Theatre Communications Group
102 The Arts and Theatre Institute, Czech Republic
103 ENCC - The European Network of Cultural Centres
104 The Green Room
105 The Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica (SPAH)
106 Trans Europe Halles
107 Western Arts Alliance
108 Yourope - The European Festival Association


Anita Debaere, Pearle*- Live Performance Europe  Matthew Covey, Tamizdat 
Marie Le Sourd, on-the-move

Heather Noonan, League of American Orchestras 




[1] Eurostat : international trade in services – personal, cultural and recreational services (year 2019)

[2] EY Ernst&Young

[3] 108 signatories on 14 June midnight CET. Names and e-mail addresses can be obtained with the contacts of this letter