Vans named Carlsbad High School of Carlsbad, Calif. as the grand-prize winner of the sixth annual Vans Custom Culture design competition and awarded a $50,000 donation toward the school’s arts education program.

Victoria Justice helped select a $50,000 grand prize winner at the Vans Custom Culture competition at Industria Superstudio on June 9
Victoria Justice helped select a $50,000 grand prize winner at the Vans Custom Culture competition at Industria Superstudio on June 9

At the final event held on June 9 at Industria Superstudios in New York City, a panel of notable judges including actress Victoria Justice, celebrity baker Amirah Kassem, musician Bea Miller, artist and author Dallas Clayton and Vans professional surfer Joel Tudor selected the winning custom Vans shoe designs among a talented group of top five finalist schools. For the remaining finalists – Circleville High School (Circleville, Ohio), Foothill High School (Henderson, N.V.), McCracken County High (Paducah, K.Y.) and Parker High School (Parker, S.D.) – Vans awarded each with $4,000 toward their arts programs.

Six years in, Vans Custom Culture continues to inspire creativity and individuality among high school students across the nation. Each year, Custom Culture has challenged them to create their own unique pairs of Vans for a chance to fund art education at their school. Nearly 3,000 high schools – the most in competition history – participated in this year’s event, designing four pairs of blank Vans based on four themes: Action Sports, Art, Music and Local Flavor. The winning design has the opportunity to be produced and sold in select Vans retail stores, as well as online at Vans.com.

“Year after year, Vans Custom Culture surpasses our wildest expectations, from the level of high school participation nationwide to the student creativity we see in all of the designs that come through as part of the competition,” said Kevin Bailey, VF Action Sports Coalition and Vans President. “With arts education budgets continuing to suffer across the nation, Vans is thrilled to provide a platform to help talented youth find their creative voice and express themselves through art and design. Vans hopes that Custom Culture will inspire others to take up the cause of underfunding of public school arts education and further provide opportunities for creative expression.”

Vans Custom Culture partners truth and Journeys also provided participating schools with an additional opportunity to raise funds for their art programs. Journeys selected the display that best represents the “local flavor” theme from the top five finalists. truth, the nation’s most successful and longest running youth smoking prevention campaign, inspired the 50 semi-finalists with the fact that in 2014, only 8% of teens still smoked. That’s down from 23% in 2000. truth challenged the students to customize a skate deck by imagining what it looks like when smoking is finished for good. Carlsbad High School from Carlsbad, California won both the truth and Journeys prices respectively $10,000 and $15,000 to benefit its arts education program.

Join in the Vans Custom Culture conversation by using the hashtag #VansCustomCulture and at www.vans.com/customculture to get all of the details on the winner of the 2015 competition.

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