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Maria Shriver has shone the spotlight on the arts in a new blog she wrote to raise awareness of a new campaign to raise funds for the California Arts Council.

“Art is fundamental, unique to each of us,” writes California’s first lady in the Huffington Post. "For me, writing allows me to be creative… My husband, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, paints to relax. And of course, he loves to act. But he also approached bodybuilding as a form of art, self-expression and communication.

“Even in difficult economic times – especially in difficult economic times – the arts are essential. And right now, Californians have an incredible opportunity to support the arts through the Million Plates Campaign for the Arts coordinated by The California Arts Council.

“If one million California drivers purchased an arts license plate, we would raise $40 million. That’s $40 million dollars that would go directly to more than 300 groups across our schools and communities.

“Think about what our re-commitment to the arts would mean – not just to our children – but to our economy. Creativity and innovation are part of California’s fabric, and we can all honor and further that legacy.

“The Million Plates campaign launches Monday in Los Angeles. But plates are available right now by simply going online to

“I hope you will take part. But more importantly, I hope you will embrace your own form of art and self-expression. Your artistic contribution makes California richer, and the world a more creative place.”

Find more info here.

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