Registration is Now Open!
To begin the registration process, please enter your email address below. You will receive a follow up email with a link to complete the process. Registration is open from now until February 12, with the first 3,000 registering accepted.
Join the conversation on your #RightToArt at
What is Vans Custom Culture?
Vans Custom Culture was created to inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design and to bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets. Vans believes everyone should be empowered to express themselves creatively and should be given the tools to do so.

Custom Culture is a national high school customization competition using blank Vans shoes to be customized around specific themes. Once your school's designs are completed, they go through a voting process to narrow down our top 50 entries. Then, it's up to your school and classmates to garner votes from the public to choose our top 5 that go on to compete in our final event. Schools in the top 5 are flown out to celebrate their artwork and have noted judges votes on the grand prize winning submission, worth $50,000!

Join the conversation now using #vanscustomculture to discuss your #RightToArt
Important Documents
Download these documents to learn more about the competition process.
If you do not find your answer in the above material, please contact us via email at
Did You Know...
Students who are involved in the arts are:
    Four Timesmore likely to participate in a math or science fair
    Three Times more likely to win an award for school attendance
    Four Times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
    Three Times more likely to be elected to class office
* Reference: Living the Arts through Language + Learning
Event Timeline
  • Step #1
    Register your school
    January 4, 2016 - February 12, 2016
  • Step #2
    Vans will send your school 4 pairs of blank canvas shoes to create a design around 4 themes: Art, Music, Action Sports and Local Flavor
    February 15, 2016 - February 26, 2016
  • Step #3
    Submit your designs, which will be voted on and narrowed down to the top 5 schools
    February 29, 2016 – April 8, 2016
  • Step #4
    5 schools will be invited to attend our final event in Los Angeles, CA
    May 12, 2016
  • Step #5
    One school will be chosen as the grand prize winner and will receive a $50,000 check towards their arts program!
    June 6, 2016 – June 9, 2016
  • For the fourth year in a row, truth® is adding its own challenge to Vans Custom Culture – and it’s worth $10,000! Only the top 50 finalist schools are eligible to participate, so the competition will be fierce.

    The challenge? Customize a blank skateboard deck with a design inspired by the following theme:
    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.

    The Prize? A trip for 4 reps from the winning school to NYC for the final event, plus $10,000 for the winning school’s art program.
  • In its 5th year partnering with Vans Custom Culture, Journeys is proud to once again bring you the Local Attitude Award. The Local Attitude Award highlights the most compelling Local Flavor theme from one of the Top 5 schools. Journeys will award the best Local Flavor entry with $15,000!!
  • Since 2012, Americans for the Arts has worked alongside Vans as Custom Culture’s official national charity partner. Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts envisions a country where everyone has access to—and takes part in—high quality and lifelong learning experiences in the arts, in the home, school and community.

    Together, Vans and Americans for the Arts are committed to drawing attention to the importance of arts education nationwide through the following initiatives:

    · The Arts Education Navigator, a series of e-books designed to equip arts education supporters with the knowledge, statistics, and case-making skills to effectively communicate with decision-makers.
    · The Vans Custom Culture grant program, which awards $2,000 to ten schools across the country annually to support their work in providing high-quality music and/or visual arts instruction for students, as demonstrated through a competitive application.

    Through these programs, Americans for the Arts works with Vans Custom Culture to increase both visibility and resources for arts education in schools across the country.
  • A premiere national art and design college, Laguna College of Art and Design is the first to offer a BFA degree in Action Sports design. For it’s second year, LCAD is offering 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.