VANS Custom Culture Contest – Win $50k for your school!

It’s always really amazing to see huge and popular brands take action for Arts Ed. In this case, VANS has teamed up with Journeys and Americans for the Arts in the fourth year of the VANS Custom Culture art competition for high school art students.

What is this contest, you ask? The premise is simple: the first 1,500 schools (public or private, but unfortunately no home-school groups or community programs) to register will receive four different pairs of VANS shoes. From there, the students have three months to design, decorate, and complete four original shoe works of art based on four different themes: Action Sports, Music, Art, and Local Flavor. Once all submissions are in, the finalists will be narrowed down to five based on internal VANS judging and a public vote. If they make the cut these kids will be flown to NYC for what looks like a super fun party and final vote (with celebrity judges!!).

This whole experience would be amazing for any Chicago high school student, but that’s not even the best part. The winning school will receive a $50,000 grand prize for their art program; each of the four runners-up will receive $4,000 for their programs, and a bonus prize of $10,000 will be awarded by Journeys for the best Local Flavor design. How absolutely amazing is that? Just imagine what a school could do for their arts programming with that prize!

The Local Flavor design might just be the best part, as it is meant to represent a student’s community, city or state, giving the participants a chance to explore their surroundings and create a shoe design to show where they come from. As an arts ed organization ourselves, we’re thrilled to see corporate outreach that addresses the need for arts in schools in such an interactive and impactful way, not just for the schools themselves, but for the community. VANS commitment to arts education is obvious from the Custom Culture mission:

In its fourth year, the Vans Custom Culture art competition inspires high school students across the United States to embrace their creativity and draw attention to the importance of art as an integral part of our schools’ focus in the face of shrinking budgets.

So get designing! Registration is open until February 11, 2013!