Vans kicks off the seventh annual Vans Custom Culture competition, a national contest designed to give high school students a platform to embrace creative expression while joining a movement to support arts education. Starting today, high school art teachers can register their school to compete against thousands of other students, creating custom designs using blank Vans shoes as their canvas.
The winning submission will receive a $50,000 donation from Vans to help foster the school’s #RightToArt movement, along with the potential that the school will see one of its designs produced for sale at select Vans retail locations and Vans.com.
Vans Custom Culture was founded with the goal of raising awareness of diminishing arts education budgets across the country and the program has grown rapidly since 2010 with only 325 schools participating in the inaugural year. During the 2015 competition nearly 3,000 schools stood alongside Vans to support arts education for all and even more are expected to appeal for their #RightToArt in 2016.
“An arts education inspires creative expression and helps prepare students for what’s next, which is why Vans believes that today’s youth and future generations deserve the Right to Art,” said Sarah Crockett, vice president of global consumer marketing, Vans. “In the last six years, Vans Custom Culture has inspired hundreds of thousands of U.S. art students to take a stand for arts education and Vans has donated over $500,000 to support arts education.”
Starting January 5th and running through February 12th at 5 p.m. PT, high school art teachers can register their students for the 2016 competition at the Vans Custom Culture website: Vans.com/CustomCulture.
Students will be provided four pairs of blank Vans shoes and will be challenged to create designs that represent the four themes of the Vans “Off The Wall” lifestyle: action sports, arts, music and local flavor.
An internal judging panel, including 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 27 – May 11, determining the top five schools. The top five finalists will get the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles to showcase their designs at an event to a panel of noted judges, with the overall winner earning $50,000 to help foster their school’s local #RightToArt movement.
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, the nation’s leading organization for advancing the arts and art education. Vans is proud to support the organization as they continue to elevate arts education in the U.S. As part of the Vans Custom Culture program, Vans and Americans for the Arts recently awarded a total of $20,000 in grants to eight schools to fund local arts initiatives. Each school will receive $2,500 to bring to life a desired arts based program during the 2016 school year; winning schools include East Chapel Hill High School, LAUSD USC and East Los Angeles High School.
For information and registration guidelines visit Vans Custom Culture at Vans.com/CustomCulture. Follow the movement on Instagram @vans.custom.culture and by using the hashtags #RightToArt and #VansCustomCulture.