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Charlottesville design firm helps update custom license plate supporting the arts

A freshly updated license plate is giving motorists a way to support the arts in Virginia, thanks to a Charlottesville design firm.

"It’s a way to engage people in the arts," said Margaret Hancock, executive director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the state-funded agency that drives investment into the arts in the commonwealth which will benefit from license plate sales.

The new design by Charlottesville-based Journey Group replaces the original look created for the first plate issued in 1998. The updated plate features a fan design on the right side that contains the colors of the Virginia flag.

"We decided to redesign it for the 21st century," Hancock said. "It’ so meaningful for us."

The plate fee is $25 per year, in addition to the registration fee, and plates can be personalized for an additional $10. It is a revenue-sharing plate, so after the first 1,000 qualifying plates are sold, $15 of each $25 fee will go to the Virginia Commission for the Arts to support arts programs across the commonwealth.

"We allocate 800 grants across the commonwealth each year," Hancock said. Past grants have helped bring literary, dance, poetry, music and visual arts programs to Virginians, along with events in many other artistic disciplines.

Hancock said she has had opportunities to thank motorists for choosing the arts plates, and she always keeps an eye out for them on the road.

"I don’t think I’ll ever drive down the street and not look at license plates after all this research," she said.


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