Arts & Culture Nassau
August 19, 2018 2:00 p.m.
We all know Florida has specialty license plates available. But do you know what happens to the additional $15 – $25 the state charges for the specialty plate?
Each specialty license plate has an authorized recipient. The state of Florida keeps $5 of each specialty plate purchased and then passes the balance of the surcharge on to the authorized recipient. The Florida Times Union compiled a list of the top ten authorized recipients based on dollar receipts from the specialty license plates from 2012 through 2017. At the top of the list is the University of Florida with the recipient goal of “benefitting academic enhancement”. In the last 5 years the University of Florida has received over $13 million from the license plate fund. The recipient in 10th place is the United States Marine Corp’s scholarship fund which received over $3 million in the last 5 years.
I am sure we would all agree that these recipients and their goals are worthy but not one of the top ten recipients benefits the people in the local community where the purchase originated. But did you know that there is a specialty license plate that returns the money directly to the community where the purchase originated? If you purchase a State of the Arts specialty license, which supports art and culture in the state of Florida, in Nassau County the funds are returned directly to Nassau County.
The Nassau County commissioners have designated Arts and Culture Nassau as the organization to manage these funds for the benefit of all of Nassau County. While the Nassau County license plate fund receipts over the last 5 years of $18 thousand pales in comparison to the University of Florida fund receipts of over $13 million, it is money that is available to directly benefit Nassau County residents.
Currently, however, there are only 71 active State of the Arts license plates in Nassau County. Even with that limited number Arts and Culture Nassau has been able to make a local impact.
This year Arts and Culture Nassau instituted a grant program to support nonprofit organizations in Nassau County with youth programs in the area of arts and culture. They have also continued with an updated brochure promoting nonprofit arts and culture organizations in Nassau County to both residents and visitors. Arts and Culture Nassau also hosts an annual community forum for arts and culture organizations in Nassau County as a forum for these organizations to interact with the Nassau County community. This year the forum will be held on Saturday October 6, 2018 at the Peck Center auditorium, 516 South 10th Street, Fernandina Beach. All organizations in Nassau County with youth programs related to arts and/or culture are invited to come and set up an informational table and activity for children. The organizations are also welcome to do a 5 – 10 minute presentation featuring their youth programs. An RSVP is required by September 3 to Liz Taylor: [email protected] or 904.261.7378 extension 100. The event is free and open to the public who can attend to peruse the various youth programs and the opportunities available for their children or grandchildren.
Imagine what could be done if more Nassau County residents requested a State of the Arts license plate.