California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

October 23, 2015Caitlin Fitzwater

California Arts Council Invites Businesses to Join its “First Forty” Campaign

Limited opportunity for forty California businesses to stand out as supporters of creativity, collaboration, and innovation

First Forty Campaign

SACRAMENTO- The California Arts Council, a state agency, will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2016. To commemorate the agency's first forty years serving Californians through the arts and creativity, the California Arts Council is seeking forty California businesses to feature at an exciting anniversary celebration event on January 27, 2016 in Sacramento -- and throughout the year.

"We look forward to partnering with California's business leaders through our unique and exciting First Forty campaign," said Craig Watson, Director of the California Arts Council. "Our 40th anniversary is an important milestone to celebrate all of the creativity and innovation that makes California a great place to live, work, and visit. Businesses joining our First Forty campaign will help us put more arts programs in California schools and communities -- a great cause that companies can be proud to support."

About the California Arts License Plate

Proceeds from sales and renewals of California's iconic Arts License Plate support arts education programs. The arts and arts education cultivate key skills for the 21st century workforce: innovation, creativity, and focus. The Arts License Plate is a key source of California state arts funding, generating about $3 million per year for arts programs benefiting children and communities throughout the state.

California Arts Plate

About First Forty

The California Arts Council is seeking 40 California businesses to each purchase 40 Arts Plate gift vouchers to celebrate 40 years of the California Arts Council.  

First FortyThis unique opportunity, open to only the first forty California businesses who join, will put more California Arts Plates on the road to support arts education. To receive recognition as a "First Forty" business, each business will purchase forty California Arts Plate Gift Vouchers to celebrate the California Arts Council's 40th anniversary.

The Arts Council is seeking forty businesses that:

  • Rely on creativity, collaboration, and innovation
  • Wish to be known across the state as a socially-responsible corporation
  • Would benefit from a year-end tax-deductible contribution
  • Would like the California legislature, philanthropists, media and VIPs to see their company's support of the arts and creativity in our state at a high-profile, publicly-broadcast celebration on January 27, 2016 at the Crest Theater in Sacramento. (The Boeing Company is the presenting sponsor for this special event.) 

With a tax-deductible contribution of $2,000, First Forty businesses will receive not only the marketing benefits associated with the campaign, but also forty Arts Plate Gift Vouchers to distribute in their community as client gifts, employee benefits, or in other unique ways.

Complete First Forty campaign details can be found in a PDF at this link:

About the Arts Plate Gift Voucher Program

Arts Plate Gift VoucherUnique gift: The new Arts Plate gift voucher program is the first of its kind, allowing you to give the gift of a California specialty arts license plate. Recipients can use their gift voucher to fully cover the purchase of their own unique Arts Plate, which will directly support California arts education and local arts programs for as long as it is on the road.

Tax-deductible contribution: Arts Plate gift voucher purchases and subsequent license plate renewals are considered tax-deductible charitable contributions to the California Arts Council.

Giving that grows: When a gift recipient redeems their voucher, their subsequent annual license plate renewals include a $40 "specialty plate fee," the entirety of which is transferred directly to the California Arts Council in support of arts education programs across California.

How to Join First Forty

This is a limited time opportunity for a limited number of businesses. Businesses wishing to join First Forty are encouraged to contact the California Arts Council as soon as possible to secure their spot in this exciting campaign. The deadline to join is December 31, 2015 or until the goal of forty participants is reached. Interested businesses should contact Caitlin Fitzwater at or (916) 324-6617.

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The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Michael Alexander, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Nashormeh Lindo, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at


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