Vans Partners With Emma Roberts and Kicks Off Fourth Annual Nationwide Custom Culture Contest With More Than $100,000 Given to Support Arts in High Schools in 2013

New Partnership With Americans for the Arts and Increased Program Funding Raises Expectations to Reach Even More With "Art in Schools" Message

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Vans Partners With Emma Roberts and Kicks Off Fourth Annual Nationwide Custom Culture Contest With More Than $100,000 Given to Support Arts in High Schools in 2013
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Students from Rio Rancho High School of Rio Rancho, NM celebrate a $50,000 first prize at the 2012 Vans …

CYPRESS, CA--(Marketwire - Jan 3, 2013) - Vans is sounding the call for hundreds of high schools across the country to take part in the 4th edition of Vans Custom Culture, a nationwide art contest. Schools can now register at vans.com/customculture for the chance to compete for a $50,000 award to their art program and the opportunity to travel to New York City to exhibit their art-adorned Vans shoes at the final art showcase.

Vans Custom Culture inspires creativity among students through art and design while at the same time aiming to shed light on diminishing school art budgets. Since its 2010 inception, Vans Custom Culture has reached tens of thousands of students, at thousands of participating schools and awarded more than $175,000 to support high school art programs. In 2013, Vans sets the bar even higher with a goal that more than 1,000 schools nationally join in.

"In a time when schools are faced with shrinking budgets, art education is an often overlooked discipline," said Doug Palladini, Vans Vice President of Marketing. "Supporting creative expression through art and design is very important to all of us at Vans and the Custom Culture program should inspire young art students and draw attention to the importance of high school art programs nationwide."

In 2013, Vans will donate $50,000 to the school that wins the Custom Culture contest and launch a new partnership with Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Through this partnership, Americans for the Arts and Vans will distribute $2,000 grants to an additional ten schools across the nation, and Vans will make a $50,000 donation to Americans for the Arts to support their work to create opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additionally, returning national retail partner Journeys will award a $10,000 'Local Attitude' award presented to the school that creates the most compelling 'local flavor' design.

"Journeys couldn't be more excited to partner with Vans Custom Culture for a second year," said Kari Irons, Journeys Vice President of Marketing. "Arts education is a vital part of a student's school experience and ensuring that young artists have the funding they need to pursue their creative passions is something Journeys feels very strongly about."

To further encourage students to register, Vans Custom Culture is pleased to announce that actress Emma Roberts (Valentine's Day, It's Kind of a Funny Story and the much anticipated We're the Millers and Empire State), will serve as the face of the program as the Vans Custom Culture Celebrity Ambassador. "As a huge Vans fan I am so excited to work with Vans Custom Culture on this great initiative," said Roberts. "Not only does it help to inspire high school students across the U.S. to embrace their creativity, but it also raises awareness for the importance of art in high schools all over the country."

From January 2 through February 11, 2013, U.S. based high school art programs can register for the 2013 competition on the Vans Custom Culture website (vans.com/customculture). After registration, each school will be tasked with customizing four favorite Vans styles: the Authentic, 106 Vulcanized, Sk8-Hi and Classic Slip-On. Students are charged with designing each pair of shoes to fit within one of three themes representing the Vans lifestyle, including action sports, art and music and then also a fourth "local flavor" theme reflecting regional inspiration.

After an internal Vans team narrows down the selection, the public will have the opportunity to vote through the Vans Custom Culture website from April 22 to May 13, 2013. The top five schools will be invited to New York City to showcase their designs for the crowd and celebrity judges at a special event in June 2013, where the grand prize winner will be announced.

In March 2013, the designs created by 2012 Vans Custom Culture winners Rio Rancho High School (Rio Ranch, NM) will go on sale at Vans and Journeys stores as well as the Vans online shop. Rio Rancho claimed the $50,000 prize last year as well as Journeys' "Local Attitude" award when their designs were recognized amongst the nearly 900 participants.

For more information both students and teachers alike can visit Vans.com/customculture. The website is the central hub for the contest, providing registration information, contest rules, an exciting kick-off video and program updates.

For more details, visit the Vans Custom Culture platforms:
Website: http://www.vans.com/customculture/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vanscustomculture

About Vans
Vans®, the original action sports footwear and apparel company, is a brand of VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC). Vans collections include authentic footwear, apparel and accessories, snowboard boots and the Pro-tec line of protective gear and are sold globally in more than 170 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and foreign offices. Vans owns and operates more than 300 stores in the United States and internationally, each offering a wide range of Vans footwear and apparel while communicating our Brand and athletes' rich stories. Vans promotes action sports lifestyle and youth culture through support of athletes on boards and bikes all over the globe and through progressive events such as the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans Downtown Showdown, the Pro-tec Pool Party and the Vans Warped Tour®. More information about Vans can be found at www.vans.com, Twitter @vans_66 and www.facebook.com/vans.

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