The Playgoer: Attention California

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Attention California

Hey I'm a New Yorker and I don't drive.  But if I lived in California I might consider this unusual way to get arts funding on the road again...

Over to you First Lady Maria Shriver:

Californians have an incredible opportunity to support the arts through the Million Plates Campaign for the Arts coordinated by The California Arts Council.

If one million California drivers purchased an arts license plate, we would raise $40 million. That's $40 million dollars that would go directly to more than 300 groups across our schools and communities.

Think about what our re-commitment to the arts would mean - not just to our children - but to our economy. Creativity and innovation are part of California's fabric, and we can all honor and further that legacy....

The Million Plates campaign launches Monday in Los Angeles. But plates are available right now by simply going online to 
While I'm not sure about her celebration of her husband's bodybuilding as "a form of art, self-expression and communication," Madame Schwartzenegger seems onto something about this.

Can this really work, Kally-fawn-ians?


The EsoCritic said...

Selling specialized license plates is not a new idea, and so it must be effective for various causes considering how long it has been around.

But when will we separate support of the arts from support for education? It seems like the easiest sell to get the most people on board is to tie the two together. This will not bring us those edgy theaters devoted to new work, or reform the performing artist exemption every April 15.

At best these initiatives will provide a few more temporary, part-time schoolhouse or community center gigs to people trying to be artists instead of established professionals who could use a wider audience.

Playgoer said...

Good point to raise, Eso. In my haste I hadn't noticed the education emphasis, and I agree that's not enough.

However, as I look further into it, it's still not clear. According to the linked site: "The California Arts Council is the state agency that advances California through the arts and creativity, and the agency's programs emphasize arts for children and communities." So it's not *exclusively* about schools and community centers, at least.

Also weird that the head of the Arts Council is another woman named Shriver who looks a lot like Maria!

Valerie Weak said...

California arts license plates aren't new - this is just a new campaign for them - they've been around for years, and while it's good that the $ for them goes directly to arts funding, what's bad is how poorly they are promoted. It's good to see the governor and first lady do something to promote them.

Anonymous said...

The design is lame: SoCal palm trees by a beach. WTF does that have to do with the arts? Puts me off buying one. I'll just continue supporting my local arts venues.