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Virginia Commission for the Arts updates its specialty license plate

A freshly updated license plate design is giving Virginia motorists a way to show support for the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

"It’s a way to engage people in the arts," said Margaret Hancock, executive director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

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.

Details about the plate can be found at

The new plate design was to have been unveiled Friday at the second Impact Celebration at Piedmont Virginia Community College. The event was canceled as a result of snowy conditions.

The organizations winning this year’s Art Stars Awards are Access Virginia, Sound Impact Inc., Clarksville Community Player Inc., The Podium Foundation and Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Regional Art Center. In addition to sharing announcements about the awards and the updated license plate, the event was to have included performances by Charlottesville Ballet, Galax-based guitarist Redd Volkaert and Norfolk singer-songwriter Roberta Lee, plus a keynote speech by Kara Ramirez Mullins, chief advancement officer at the National Geographic Society.


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