CYPRESS, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 11, 2014) - Vans announces Rio Rancho High School of New Mexico as the winner of the fifth annual Custom Culture art and design competition. At the final event held on June 10 at New York City's Industria Superstudio, celebrity judges MKTO, Steve Caballero, Matt Shultz, Kemal Harris and Eley & Kishimoto selected the winning custom shoe designs among the top five finalist schools. Vans presented Rio Rancho High School with the grand-prize $50,000 donation to support its art program. Vans also awarded the four runner-up schools -- Carlsbad High School (Calif.), Cinnaminson High School (N.J.), Eastern High School (Ky.), Parker High School (S.D.) -- with a $4,000 donation each for their art programs.
Now in its fifth year, Custom Culture continues to drive creativity and inspire high school art students across the country by providing the opportunity to compete for $50,000 for their schools' art programs. This year, 2,000 schools participated in the competition, receiving four pairs of blank Vans shoes to use as a canvas and design according to four different themes: Art, Music, Action Sports and 'Local Flavor.' The winning shoe design will also be produced and sold in select Vans and Journeys retail stores, and online at Vans.com and Journeys.com. On behalf of these shoe sales, Vans donated an additional $50,000 to Americans for the Arts to fund educational materials and school grants throughout the year.
"The growth of Custom Culture within the past five years has exceeded our expectations and enabled us to make a difference for more students than we could have imagined when we started this program," said Kevin Bailey, president of Vans. "In the face of school budget cuts where art education is often the first to go, Vans is proud to lend a hand and help open doors to art-based careers to support the creative future of our youth."
Custom Culture partners truth® and Journeys also provided participating schools with an additional opportunity to raise funds for their art programs. truth®, the nation's largest youth smoking prevention campaign, challenged the 50 semi-finalists to customize a skateboard deck inspired by their reaction to the following fact: In 2006, a judge ruled that Big Tobacco had been engaged in a 50-year-long scheme to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking. truth® awarded Sandy High School from Sandy, Oregon with $10,000 for its art program. Additionally, Journeys awarded Parker High School a $10,000 donation for the 'Local Attitude' design best illustrating the school's local community.
Vans Custom Culture has grown exponentially since its inception in 2010, reaching hundreds of thousands of students and putting more than $375,000 back into high school art programs nationwide to date. For more information about Custom Culture, please visit www.vans.com/customculture.
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truth® is the largest national youth smoking prevention campaign. The campaign exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth gives teens facts and information about the tobacco industry and its products, allowing them to make their own informed choices about tobacco use. Research-proven as an effective public health intervention, the campaign is credited with keeping hundreds of thousands of teens from starting to smoke. To learn more, visit www.thetruth.com. truth is directed and funded by Legacy, a national public health foundation located in Washington, D.C. Legacy was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy's life-saving programs, visit www.LegacyForHealth.org.
Journeys is a leader in the teen specialty retail scene, with more than 800 stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Journeys uses fashion savvy and merchandising science to keep in step with the fast-paced footwear and accessories market for 13- to 22-year-old guys and girls. Journeys offers a wide variety of trendy, relevant brands that cater to teens who seek the hottest, new styles. The Journeys store is more than a retail environment; it's an extension of the teen lifestyle. From the plasma TVs playing exclusive content and the latest music videos, to the visual merchandising strategy and promotions, to the employees whose image and style reflect the customers' lifestyle and attitude. In addition, Journeys reaches its customers through www.journeys.com, a mobile website, catalog, national advertising, strategic cross-promotions, social media and grass-roots events like The Journeys Noise Tour. Journeys is, in every way, an attitude you can wear!