About Vans Custom Culture
Vans Custom Culture Mission
In it’s 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.

Competition Overview
The first 1,500 U.S.-based public or private high schools (Sorry no home schools, charter schools or community programs may enter), that register for Vans Custom Culture according to our official rules will receive four pairs of Vans shoes (106, Sk8-Hi, Slip On and Authentic) to make their own creations.

Each pair must represent one of four themes: Action Sports (Defined as boards and bikes, not stick and ball!) Music, Art, and Local Flavor (Inspired by your surrounding community, city or state).

Photo submissions are made online via the Vans Custom Culture website after which an internal selection and external public vote will whittle the entries down to a group of five finalists who will travel to New York City for the Vans Custom Culture Final Event.

How Do I Participate in Custom Culture?
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how your school can participate in Custom Culture 2013:

1. Register your school
You must have a teacher or administrator register your school at www.vans.com/customculture beginning January 2nd. Only the first 1,500 schools will be accepted into the competition, and only one teacher from each school may register. Once your teacher submits your school’s registration, they’ll receive an automated e-mail with a link they'll need to click to confirm their registration. We’ll be reviewing each school that registers daily for accuracy and legitimacy! Registration officially ends on February 11th at midnight PST.

2. Wait for your shoes
The teacher who registered will receive your school’s shoes in February. Each school will receive four pairs of shoes: 106, Sk8 Hi, Slip on and Authentic. To prepare, download shoe templates at www.vans.com/customculture so you’re ready to start designing as soon as they arrive.

3. Customize your shoes
Get busy customizing your four pairs of Vans! It’s up to you and your teacher to decide how the shoes are customized and whether you work on them individually or in groups. Just remember, the design must be 100% original and cannot reference any celebrity likeness or copywrited material. Each pair must align with one of the following themes: Art, Music, Action Sports and Local Flavor. Remember, Action Sports must reference sports that use boards or bikes (Skateboarding, BMX, Wakeboarding, Surfing, etc), NOT sports like soccer and football.

4. Submit your design
Once your shoes are complete, your teacher can go to www.vans.com/customculture/login to access their account using the password they created at registration and upload five images of the customized shoes (one image for each of the four pairs and one group shot. This group shot is crucial so make it good! Submissions will be accepted between February 25th and April 5th.

5. The Top 50 Semi-Finalists
Once all the submissions are in, Vans staff will narrow them down to a group of 50 semi-finalists (ten schools per region, five total regions). We’ll announce that group and open up the site to public online voting on April 22nd.

6. Spread the word
If your school is one of the 50 semi-finalists, congratulations! Now it’s time to spread the word to everyone you know to vote for your shoes online at www.vans.com/customculture. This online voting will determine the top five finalists. Voting will occur from April 22nd to May 13th.

7. The Top Five Finalists
The five schools as determined by online voting will be notified on May 14th and given a travel budget to fly out New York City for the Final Event. This event will include surprise celebrity judges who will decide the winner. The winner will receive a $50,000 grand prize for their art program and to sweeten the deal, the four runners up will each receive $4,000 prizes for their programs too. Our partner, Journeys, will also be awarding prize money to the school with the best Local Flavor themed shoe and each of the runners up.

For more information, check out our FAQ or drop us a note on our Facebook wall at www.facebook.com/vanscustomculture. If you still have questions, send an e-mail to customculture@vans.com and someone on our team will reply to you as soon as possible.

Good Luck!