The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

A License Plate for the Arts

The drive: sell one million ARTSPL8 license plates.


The goal: to generate $40 million every year for “arts education and local arts programs for children, schools, and communities—in every county across the entire state” of California.


The program: “Create a State: the Million Plates Drive.” This is the marketing campaign “conceived, designed, and produced” by Los Angeles-based ad agency Industrial Creative. Their belief is that arts education is directly linked to creativity, innovation, and success in every field.


The license plates for arts program began in 1994 through special legislation, a joint collaboration between the Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Arts Council, the first of its kind in America to soley benefit the arts. The “Coastline” plate was designed by well-known Californian artist Wayne Thiebaud. The plate has become “famous worldwide,” and through sales and renewals, state arts programs have received millions of dollars. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Arts Plate Fund benefits over 300 nonprofit arts programs.


Current ARTSPL8 drivers: Steve Martin, Annette Bening, Jack Black, Harrison Ford, the cast of “Glee,” Ozomatli, Macy Gray, Wolfgang Puck, Placido Domingo, Russell Simmons, and Eli Broad to name a few.


When budget cuts are needed, arts programs skyrocket to the top of the list. It may be hard to connect the dots, but there is a direct correlation between fostering children’s creativity and their success in the more supported fields of science and math.


It is only through receiving a completely rounded education that our children can enter their chosen field—whether that be teaching, technology, architecture, science, nursing, or manual labor—and maximize their potential, actualize their dreams, and reach for the stars.


Drive the Arts. Buy the Plate.
Sequential plates: $50; renewal, $40
Personalized plates: $98; renewal, $78
Purchasing the Arts Plate is considered a charitable deduction for tax purposes
For more detailed info, visit


Hometown Pasadena

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