The California Arts Council has come up with a creative way to raise funds in light of ever-increasing budget cuts: make the California Arts license plate tax-deductible. Since the Arts Plate first went on sale in 1994 it has raised over $20 million for California arts through sales and renewals. Now, all fees for the Arts Plate are considered a charitable contribution to the California Arts Council, an extra incentive to support California arts.
Through a new campaign called the “Million Plates Campaign for the Arts,” organizers hope to convince a million California drivers to purchase an arts license plate by January, which will direct $40 million to more than 300 groups across California, enriching schools and communities.
"This campaign will take California from last in national arts funding to first and it is as simple as changing the plate on your car. It is easy to get at artsplate.org or your local DMV," said Gov. Arnold at a June 28 press conference at 20th Century Fox Studios, where the actor-turned-governor made films such as Commando, Predator and True Lies. “Every Californian deserves the chance to channel their creativity into art, and the Million Plates Campaign will help ensure they can.”
He emphasized that the state faces a $20-billion budget deficit and that education and other programs continue to face cuts. The initial cost for the license plate is $50, and the annual renewal is $40 — and it is a tax deductible expense.
Screen Actor Guild is a community partner of the California Arts Council, and SAG members and staff were in attendance at the press conference to show support for the campaign. The campaign has also enlisted the help of “arts ambassadors” to help promote the sale of the plates, including Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford, Anjelica Huston and Jennifer Aniston.
“We are excited to be a part of this innovative solution to keeping arts education a reality for the next generation of Californians,” said Jenn Heater, the Guild’s manager of government relations and policy.
For more, visit artsplate.org.