Travel ban threat assaults the arts

President Trump’s travel ban may not be having any effect on the threat of terrorism but it’s doing a number on the arts.

Take a look at this 2014 video. It may be the last time you hear Iranian Hooshyar Khayam’s composition by the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra.

The orchestra had plans to unveil a new work by Khayam — Rhapsody in Turquoise — at a concert this summer but that’s off now. The Duluth News Tribune says the threat that Khayam would be ensnared by the travel ban has prompted the orchestra to pull the plug on the idea.

“It’s important for folks to know that this is the reality of this kind of hostility being put into place,” Stephen Prutsman, who was to be the featured pianist, said. “Things have to be canceled — these kinds of multicultural presentations. We hope by this point next year we’re all set to go and have our plane tickets.”

“Stephen Prutsman, Warren Friesen and the LSCO are, to me, sources of light,” Khayam tells the paper. “I am blessed to know them and have them as my friends. Together, we will wait for better times to come.”