As part of its seventh annual Vans Custom Culture competition, the California skate brand is launching its online voting today. The national contest is 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 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.
Today through May 11, those interested in voting can visit Vans to see all 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 Braggs and top chefs Jon Schook and Vinny Dotolo, as well as a special musical guest.
As part of the competition, each participating school created four custom designs to represent the Vans “Off the Wall” lifestyle, using blank Vans classic footwear as the canvas. An internal Vans team, including some of its designers as well as employees, narrowed down the selection of the top 50 schools for the public to vote on by region.
In addition to the grand prize, Vans will donate $4,000 to each of the four runner-up schools, plus and extra $50,000 to nonprofit partner Americans for the Arts, a leading organization for advancing the arts and art education.
Finalists will also be eligible for a $15,000 “Local Attitude” award, presented by Journeys to the school that creates the most compelling local flavor design.
The 50 semi-finalists have the chance to compete for a separate $10,000 award from truth — a youth smoking-prevention campaign. Participants will be challenged to customize a skateboard deck inspired by their reaction to a raw fact about tobacco.
Laguna College of Art and 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.
The movement can be followed on Instagram at @vans.custom.culture and by using the hashtags #RightToArt and #VansCustomCulture.