California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

February 23, 2012Mary Beth Barber

NEA Rocco Landesman's "California Arts Plate"

Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts tours California, receives promotional plate from program that provides millions for California arts

Sacramento -

The California Arts Council presented Rocco Landesman, Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, with a commemorative California Arts License Plate today during his visit to California. Proceeds from the California Arts License Plate -- the special interest plate with a palm tree and sunset motif -- provide 60% of the funding for the California Arts Council, the state's arts agency.

"We couldn't have the Chair of the NEA come to California and not take home a memento from the Arts Plate program that is so vital to our statewide arts programs for children and local communities," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "We hope Rocco will take this to Washington, D.C. as a reminder of the innovation, creativity and arts of California."

The California Arts License Plate, designed by California artist Wayne Thiebaud, first hit the roadways in 1994. Since then sales and renewals of the plate have provided over $25 million for the arts in California. Noting that the Arts License Plate program as a key funding resource during tough budget times, the California Arts Council launched the Million Plates for the Arts effort in 2010, with a major announcement to come in late March 2012. One million Arts Plates on California roadways would mean $40 million for arts education and local arts annually.

The Arts Plate received by Mr. Landesman reads "ROCCO," and was created for promotional purposes for his appearance at the Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art (LACMA) during the "Director's Series" program, when Mr. Landesman was interviewed by LACMA CEO Michael Govan. Real California Arts License Plates may be ordered by car owners with vehicles registered in California at (Commemorative Arts Plates are not available to the general public.) Press may contact Mary Beth Barber at 916-322-6588,

The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the Arts and Creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Vice Chair William Turner, Wylie Aitken, Michael Alexander, Andrew Green, Adam Hubbard, Charmaine Jefferson, Terry Lenihan, Susan Steinhauser, and Rosalind Wyman.

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