In its tenth year, Vans’ esteemed Custom Culture Program continues to inspire high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design, while bringing attention to diminishing arts education budgets nationwide. This year marks a milestone, and in the last 10 years, the competition has inspired more than 12,000 high schools while Vans has donated over one million dollars to support art education. On April 22nd, Vans announced the 50 semi-finalists from the national competition, and opened the vote to the public to help determine the top 5 finalists, who will be in the running to win $75,000 for their high school’s art program! The public vote will be open until May 3rd.
A number of celebrities, influencers, musicians and artists elect to be ambassadors for the program each year, designing their own pair of Vans to help spread awareness. This year, Jasmine Sanders, Arielle Kebbel, Sydney Sweeney, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, Rebekah Steen of Goldfish Kiss, and Zooey Miyoshi of Zooey in the City are among this year’s ambassadors. You can check out the Vans Custom Culture Instagram to view more ambassador shoes.
50 U.S. High Schools Reimagine Vans as a Canvas for Creative Expression
Vans has selected the top 50 semi-finalists continuing on to the public voting phase of the tenth annual Vans Custom Culture art competition. Now, through May 3rd at 5 PM PST, individuals can cast their vote for their favorite designs on customculture.vans.com. Votes will help determine the top five finalists who will continue and have a chance to win the grand prize of $75,000 towards their high school art program.
“The Vans Custom Culture competition has really been a source of pride for our community and school, and it’s great to see how it has flourished over the last 10 years,” said Dave Fuller, an art teacher from Parker High School, and the 2017 winner of Custom Culture. “Since the competition, students have entered other art competitions and we have noticed a rise in students entering our art class. It provided so many memories for myself, students and chaperones – it has been the highlight of my teaching career.”
Among the 500 qualifying schools, Vans chose 50 schools based on design, craftsmanship and overall execution to continue to the next competition phase. Each school designed two pairs of Vans shoes around themes representing ‘Local Flavor’ and ‘Off the Wall.’ Each school also submitted an Impact Document to further explain how the monetary donation would benefit their school’s art program and community.
“Each year, we’re blown away by the imagination of our youth across the country as they redefine Vans as a literal canvas for their creative expression,” stated Kristy Van Doren, Vans Senior Director Brand Marketing for North America. “Our 10th anniversary year was no exception, as each of the top 50 semi-finalists offered unique representation and distinct storytelling through their shoe designs.
As the competition proceeds, we encourage communities to support these students so that they can continue to change the world of art and how it comes to life.” Public vote is the time for schools to excite and involve their communities and help take them one step closer to winning the $75,000 grand prize. With support from partners including Journeys, Yoobi, Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) and Americans for the Arts (AFTA), this year’s winner will be surprised with a special event and a $75,000 check for the school’s art program. The four runner-up schools will not leave empty handed either, as they will receive a limited-edition gift from Vans and a $10,000 donation to their art programs.
Vans Custom Culture continues to provide a platform for high school students to embrace their creativity and self-expression. As art education budgets are often the first to be cut, Vans puts it foot forward and strives to contribute more than $1,000,000 behind youth culture and creativity.
For more information and to cast your Vans Custom Culture vote, visit customculture.vans.com.
The Top 50 Schools competing for their place in the Top 5:
Anadarko High School (Oklahoma)
Andrew P. Hill High School (California)
Atherton High School (Kentucky)
Bel Air High School (Texas)
Branson High School (Missouri)
Bunker Hill High School (Illinois)
C. E. King High School (Texas)
Cache High School (Oklahoma)
Carl Junction High School (Missouri)
Central Park East High School (New York)
Chicopee Comprehensive High School (Massachusetts)
Danville High School (Arkansas)
David Brearley High School(New Jersey)
Deming High School (New Mexico)
Earl Warren High School (Texas)
East Central High School (Texas)
Elk Grove High School (Illinois)
Flagstaff High School (Arizona)
Greater Lawrence Technical School (Massachusetts)
Harbor High School (California)
Harding High – Saint Paul Public Schools (Minnesota)
Harrison County High School (Kentucky)
Highlands High School (California
Kirby High School (Tennessee)
Middle Township High School (New Jersey)
Moanalua High School (Hawaii)
Monterey High School (Tennessee)
Muleshoe High School (Texas)
Munster High School (Indiana)
New Bedford High School (Massachusetts)
North High School (California)
Porterville High School (Porterville)
Portola Junior Senior High School (California)
Ridge Vue High School (Oregon)
Ridgeview High School (Oregon), Riverside High School Visual Arts (Texas)
Roselle Park High School (New Jersey)
Saint Ignatius High School (Montana)
Seneca Valley Senior High School (Pennsylvania)
Sheboygan South High School (Wisconsin)
Sheldon High School (Oregon)
Shenandoah High School (Iowa)
Sierra Vista High School (California)
Thomas Kelly High School (Illinois)
Tomah High School (Wisconsin)
Vallivue High School (Idaho)
Van Weert High School (Ohio)
Windham High School (Connecticut)
Wright City High School (Missouri)
Yuma High School (Colorado)
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans® authentic collections are sold in 84 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans® has over 2,000 retail locations globally including owned, concession and partnership doors. The Vans® brand promotes creative self-expression in youth culture across action sports, art, music and street culture and delivers progressive platforms such as the Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, and Vans‘ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.