Vans Kicks Off the Sixth Annual Custom Culture Art Competition

Vans invites high school art students around the country to join in the sixth annual Vans Custom Culture art competition. In partnership with Americans for the Arts, Journeys and truth®, Vans Custom Culture celebrates student creativity and supports arts education with an art and design competition driven by students across the nation. Starting today, high school art teachers can register their classes to go up against thousands of other students, creating their most artistic and inventive designs using blank Vans shoes as their canvas. Vans will donate $50,000 to the winning school’s arts program, along with the potential that the school will see one of its designs produced for sale at select Vans retail locations and

The Vans Custom Culture competition is intended to inspire high school students to embrace creativity through art and design and to raise awareness for the country’s suffering arts programs. Vans Custom Culture has grown since its inception in 2010 with just 326 schools participating in the first year, now the program is expected to have 3,000 schools participate in 2015. In five years, Vans Custom Culture has empowered hundreds of thousands of U.S. art students and has donated over $400,000 to high school art programs across the country.

“Vans believes in expressing creativity and building a life around pursuing your dreams; we are actively striving to make sure students receive the opportunity to show the world who they are through the arts,” said Sarah Crockett, vice president of global consumer marketing, Vans. “Vans Custom Culture was designed to give students a platform to embrace the arts as an outlet for creative expression while giving back to communities through a meaningful donation going towards sustaining and growing art programs in order to inspire today’s youth to create.”

Starting today and running through February 13 at noon PT, high school art teachers can register their students for the 2015 competition at the Vans Custom Culture website. Students will be provided with four pairs of blank Vans shoes, with each shoe representing the four themes of the Vans’ “Off the Wall” lifestyle: action sports, arts, music and local flavor.

Vans employees will assist in selecting the top 50 schools to be featured as semi-finalists. Those 50 schools will then be posted online for a public vote on the Vans Custom Culture website from April 24-May 11, determining the top five schools. The top five finalists will get the opportunity to travel to New York City to showcase their designs at an event to a panel of celebrity judges, with the overall winner earning $50,000 for their school’s arts program. In addition, Vans will donate $4,000 each to the four runner-up schools, plus an extra $50,000 to non-profit partner Americans for the Arts. Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading organization for advancing the arts and art education, and Vans’ is proud to support the organization as they continue to elevate arts education in the U.S.

National retailer Journeys and truth®, one of the nation’s largest youth smoking prevention campaigns, have partnered with Vans again for this year’s competition to offer additional award opportunities. Journeys will provide a $15,000 ‘Local Attitude’ award to the school that creates the most compelling ‘local flavor’ design. The top 50 semi-finalists will also have the opportunity to compete for $10,000 by customizing a skateboard deck inspired by truth’s “Finish IT” campaign.

New for this year, the Laguna College of Art and Design has committed to offering $125,000 in total scholarship awards for one student from each of the top five schools. Each scholarship recipient will receive a total of $6,250 per year for four years.

For information and registration guidelines visit Vans Custom Culture and watch this Vans Custom Culture 2015 teaser on YouTube.