CYPRESS, Calif., April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Vans launches online voting today for 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 and foster their school's #RightToArt.
In partnership with Americans for the Arts, Journeys, truth®, Laguna College of Art and Design, and Blick Art Materials, Vans is asking for the public to help select the top five high schools from the 50 semi-finalists, competing for $50,000 for their school's art programs, among other rewards.
Starting today through May 11, students, teachers, parents, friends and community supporters can visit Vans.com/CustomCulture to see all of the designs and vote for their favorite school. Supporters are invited to vote daily, as each fan is allowed one vote per region per day. The top five finalists will head to Los Angeles in June for a final showcase event featuring celebrity judges, including YouTube personality Maddi Bragg and top chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo behind Los Angeles restaurants Animal, Jon & Vinny's and Son of a Gun among others, as well as a special musical guest.
"Every year the team at Vans looks forward to seeing the creative and inspiring student submissions. While the task of selecting the top 50 finalists for Vans Custom Culture is never easy, we're so excited to showcase these designs to the public and have them take part in extending arts education nationally," said Fara Howard, vice president of global marketing at Vans. "We continue to be awed and inspired by the level of creativity and dedication the students put in to their submissions and we are so proud to help support arts programming and empower the next generation's Right to Art."
Vans Custom Culture was created to inspire high school students to embrace their creativity, while raising awareness of diminishing arts education budgets. The design competition has grown rapidly since 325 schools participated in the inaugural competition in 2010. Since then, more than 10 percent of high schools nationally have participated in Vans Custom Culture and more than $600,000 has been contributed to support arts programs in schools.
As part of the competition, each participating school created four custom designs to represent the Vans "Off The Wall" lifestyle (Action Sports, Music, Art, Local Flavor) using blank Vans classic footwear as the canvas. From there, an internal Vans team including some of the brand's designers, as well as employees, narrowed down the selection to the top 50 schools for the public to vote on (listed by region below).
Top 50 Schools Competing for Spot in Final Five Event
Eastside High School – Lancaster, CA
Evergreen Valley High School – San Jose, CA
Gregori High School – Modesto, CA
Northwood High School – Irvine, CA
Orange High School – Orange, CA
San Pasqual High School – Escondido, CA
St. Lucy's Priory High School – Glendora, CA
Trinity Christian Schools – Garden Grove, CA
University High School – Irvine, CA
Western High School – Anaheim, CA
Bel Air High School – El Paso, TX
Chouteau Mazie Public School – Chouteau, OK
Franklin High School – Franklin, TX
Friendswood High School – Friendswood, TX
James Pace Early College High School – Brownsville, TX
La Joya High School – La Joya, TX
Moanalua High – Honolulu, HI
Raymondville High School – Raymondville, TX
Sabino High School – Tucson, AZ
Timber Creek High School – Fort Worth, TX
Covington High School – Covington, LA
Eastern High School – Louisville, KY
Great Bridge High School – Chesapeake, VA
McEachern High School – Powder Springs, GA
Metcalfe County High – Edmonton, KY
Minor Daniels Academy – Louisville, KY
Paideia School - Atlanta, GA
Rome High School – Rome, GA
Southern Vance High School – Henderson, NC
Station Camp High School – Gallatin, TN
Central Valley High School – Spokane Valley, WA
Fir Ridge High School – Portland, OR
Fort Calhoun High School – Fort Calhoun, NE
McNary High School – Salem, OR
Parker High School – Parker, SD
Pocatello High School – Pocatello, ID
Red River High School – Grand Forks, ND
Sandy High School – Sandy, OR
Vallivue High School – Caldwell, ID
V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic School – Omaha, NE
Catoctin High School – Thurmont, MD
Centennial High School – Ellicott City, MD
Cinnaminson High School – Cinnaminson, NJ
John P. Stevens High School – Edison, NJ
J.P. McCaskey High School – Lancaster, PA
Lacey Township High School – Lanoka Harbor, NJ
Middletown High School South – Middletown, NJ
New Palestine High School – New Palestine, IN
Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women – Rochester, NY
Rochester High School – Rochester, MI
Vans Custom Culture Partners
In addition to the $50,000 grand prize, Vans will donate $4,000 to each of 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.
Finalists will also be eligible for a $15,000 'Local Attitude' award, presented by retail partner Journeys to the school that creates the most compelling 'local flavor' design. This is Journey's fifth year partnering with Vans Custom Culture.
Further, the 50 semi-finalists have the chance to compete for a separate $10,000 award from truth® – the nation's largest youth smoking prevention campaign. Participants will be challenged to customize a skateboard deck inspired by their reaction to a raw fact about tobacco. This year's challenge is: 'Only 7% of teens smoke. That's down from 23% in 2000. We can get it to 0%. Now: Show us what it looks like when we finish smoking for good.'
Finally, Laguna College of Art and Design, a premiere national art and design college and the first to offer a BFA degree in Action Sports design, has partnered with Vans Custom Culture for the second year to offer a $25,000 scholarship to each of the top five finalist schools to allow one individual from each school to earn their BFA in Design + Digital Media.
For more information on Vans Custom Culture or to cast your vote, please visit Vans.com/CustomCulture. Follow the movement on Instagram @vans.custom.culture and by using the hashtags #RightToArt and #VansCustomCulture.
About Vans Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in more than 75 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates nearly 600 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events and platforms such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, Vans Warped Tour®, and Vans' cultural hub and international music venue, the House of Vans.