We need your help! Please help us spread the word to budding young high school artists everywhere: Vans Custom Culture is back for 2011 and we’re open for registration at vans.com/customculture.

Last year Vans introduced Vans Custom Culture, a nationwide contest for high school art classes in which we provided white Vans shoes as a blank canvas for students to come up with their best, most creative designs. The goal was and is to celebrate young creative expression and draw attention to the importance of art education in the face of dwindling budgets.

Students from nearly 330 schools across 48 states worked together with their classmates to create pieces of art that were nothing short of amazing. The public voted the top four schools into the finals and Vans flew them out to a special art showcase event at the Orange County Museum of Art last May. Rio Rancho High School from just outside Albuquerque was chosen by our celebrity judge panel as the school with the top four designs and received a $10,000 grant towards the school’s art program.

This year, we are looking to make Vans Custom Culture bigger and better. We’ve opened the contest to up to 1000 schools nationally so even more kids can take part and we’re increasing our grant for the winning school to $50,000 towards their art program which should make a huge impact. We’re also taking the top five schools to New York City for a museum show late this spring.

Please pass along to any high school teachers that you know as well as students and parents. Any help is much appreciated.

You can check out images from last year as well as a teaser video at vans.com/customculture.

Thanks for your support!