On Saturday, October 5, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill 482, “California Cultural and Historical Endowment,” by Assembly Member Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). The bill moves the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) from the State Library to the Natural Resources Agency and lays the foundation to launch a Snoopy special interest license plate to support California museums.
Each special license plate will feature a reproduction of an original Snoopy drawing by Charles Schulz, doing a happy dance (probably in anticipation of suppertime). The proceeds from sales of the Snoopy license plates will establish a competitive grant program to support our state’s great museums.
“The grant money will be given out in a competitive grant process,” California Association of Museums (CAM) Executive Director Celeste DeWald told the Voice. “Every museum in your local area will be able to apply. Any kind of museum can apply, including art museums, historical museums, aquariums and children’s museums.”
The license plates are expected to generate $5 million in revenue for museums, according to DeWald.
The campaign to put the beloved, comic beagle on license plates in California, and help the state’s museums at the same time, has been underway for several years. More than 10,000 Californians have already expressed interest in purchasing a Snoopy special interest license plate by completing an online form. A statewide marketing campaign will be launched soon to pre-sell Snoopy license plates and the Department of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing the plates upon receipt of 7,500 paid applications.
California is home to a great variety of museums – from world-renowned destinations to small museums that preserve the unique histories and culture of the state. The Snoopy license plate will generate new funding to help support California museums without relying on the State’s limited resources.
Jean Schulz, the widow of Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz and founder of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, the Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates and Peanuts Worldwide, the licensing agent for PEANUTS, are giving royalty-free rights to CAM to establish a special license plate featuring Snoopy.
California drivers may currently register interest for a Snoopy license plate at www.snoopyplate.com. The state will soon begin collecting the appropriate fee from drivers who want their own Snoopy plate (starting at $50). Once 7,500 individuals pre-purchase a plate, the DMV will begin production.
Plate revenues will support a competitive grant program that benefits California museums. CCHE, a state entity, will administer the California Museum Grant Program with funds raised from the Snoopy license plates. A smaller portion of the revenues will support professional development programs and services.
CAM is a non-profit service organization formed to represent the interests of California museums. CAM assists California museums in fulfilling their missions as educational and research institutions that interpret and preserve art and cultural and scientific artifacts for public benefit. www.calmuseums.org.