April 25, 2014 13:30 ET

Vans Reveals Top Fifty High Schools Nationwide Vying for Grand Prize in the Fifth Annual Custom Culture Art Competition Supporting Arts Education

Public Online Vote Now Open to Select Top Five High Schools for a Chance to Win $50,000 for Their Art Programs and a Trip to New York City

CYPRESS, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 25, 2014) - Vans launches online voting today for the Custom Culture high school art competition -- in partnership with Americans for the Arts, Journeys and truth® -- calling on the public to help narrow down 50 semi-finalists to the top five high schools competing for $50,000 for their school's art programs, among other awards.

Beginning today, April 25 through May 12, students, teachers, parents and friends nationwide may log onto the Custom Culture website ( and vote for their favorite school designs to advance in the competition. The five finalists will head to New York City in June for a final showcase event featuring celebrity judges at the renowned Industria Superstudio, where the grand-prize winner of the $50,000 donation will be announced.

"Narrowing down to the 50 semi-finalists was not an easy feat," said Sarah Crockett, vice president of global consumer marketing at Vans. "The immense creativity coming out of the schools inspires us even more each year. When the designs come in and we see what the students create, it further solidifies our commitment at Vans to supporting students in their artistic pursuits and helping schools secure the resources to make that happen."

Vans Custom Culture was created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design, while calling attention to the fact that school art programs are suffering due to shrinking education budgets. Earlier this year, 2,000 schools across the country registered to compete -- the most participating schools in Custom Culture's five-year history. 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 sneakers as the canvas. From there, an internal Vans team narrowed down the selection to the top 50 schools for the public to weigh in on (listed by region below).

In addition to the $50,000 grand prize, Vans will award $4,000 to the four runners-up. Finalists will also be eligible for a $10,000 'Local Attitude' award, presented by retail partner Journeys to the school that creates the most compelling 'local flavor' design. 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. The fact for this year is: 'In 2006, a judge ruled that Big Tobacco had been engaged in a 50-year scheme to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking.'

Vans Custom Culture has grown exponentially since its inception in 2010 with 326 participating schools, to 2,000 schools this year. To date, the competition has reached hundreds of thousands of students and pumped more than $320,000 back into high school art programs.

For more information or to vote for the winning designs, visit the Custom Culture website at

Top 50 Schools Competing for Spot in Final Five Via Public Online Vote:

California Region:

  • Canyon Springs High School - Moreno Valley, CA
  • Carlsbad High School - Carlsbad, CA
  • Downey High School - Downey, CA
  • Evergreen Valley High School - San Jose, CA
  • Los Angeles County High School for the Arts - Los Angeles, CA
  • Marina High School - Marina, CA
  • Orange County School of the Arts - Santa Ana, CA
  • Sheldon High School - Sacramento, CA
  • University High School - Irvine, CA
  • Upland High School - Upland, CA

Southwest Region:

  • Bel Air High School - El Paso, TX
  • Friendswood High School - Friendswood, TX
  • Greenville High School - Greenville, TX
  • Los Lunas High School - Los Lunas, NM
  • Pagosa Springs High School - Pagosa Springs, CO
  • Raymondville High School - Raymondville, TX
  • Rio Rancho High School - Rio Rancho, NM
  • St. Gregory College Preparatory School - Tucson, AZ
  • Veterans Memorial High School - Brownsville, TX
  • Wheat Ridge High School - Wheat Ridge, CO

Southeast Region:

  • Athens Drive High School - Raleigh, NC
  • Calvary Christian Academy - Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Eastern High School - Louisville, KY
  • Fontainebleau High School - Mandeville, LA
  • Freedom High School - Orlando, FL
  • Hermitage High School - Henrico, VA
  • John Carroll Catholic High School - Birmingham, AL
  • Kickapoo High School - Springfield, MO
  • TERRA Environmental Research Institute - Miami, FL
  • Wright City High School - Wright City, MO

Northwest Region:

  • Aloha High School - Beaverton, OR
  • Bellevue West High School - Bellevue, NE
  • North Medford High School - Medford, OR
  • Parker High School - Parker, SD
  • Pinedale High School - Pinedale, WY
  • Sandy High School - Sandy, OR
  • Shenandoah High School - Shenandoah, IA
  • St. Paul Preparatory - St. Paul, MN
  • St. Stephen's Academy - Beaverton, OR
  • West Marshall High School - State Center, IA

Northeast Region:

  • Byron Center High School - Byron Center, MI
  • Central Bucks High School West - Doylestown, PA
  • Century High School - Eldersburg, MD
  • Cinnaminson High School - Cinnaminson, NJ
  • Cumberland Valley High School - Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Oceanside High School - Oceanside, NY
  • Pickerington Central High School - Pickerington, OH
  • St. Croix Falls High School - St. Croix Falls, WI
  • Wellesley High School - Wellesley, MA
  • Westlake High School - Westlake, OH

About Vans
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear and apparel brand. Vans collections include authentic footwear, apparel, accessories and snowboard boots that are sold globally in more than 170 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. VF Outdoor, Inc. owns and operates more than 415 stores of the Vans brand in the United States and internationally, each offering a range of Vans footwear and apparel while communicating the brand's rich heritage. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of musicians, artists and athletes on boards and bikes all over the globe and through progressive events such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans Downtown Showdown, the Vans Pool Party, the Vans Warped Tour® and surfing's most prestigious contest, the Vans US Open of Surfing. Vans, "Off the Wall" Since '66

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