VANS Inspires the Next Generation of Artists, Designers, and Innovators

Posted by Kristen Engebretsen, Jun 22, 2015 1 comment

Editor’s Note: Americans for the Arts partners with VANS on their Custom Culture program. Last week in New York City was the final event of the competition, where the winning shoe design was picked. Below are remarks that our Arts Education Program Manager made during the event:

My name is Kristen, and my organization, Americans for the Arts, partners with Vans to ensure that schools all over the country have amazing arts programs, just like yours.

Custom Culture was developed to encourage high school students to embrace their creativity and inspire a new generation of youth culture.

Top 5 Finalist, Parker HS, South Dakota Top 5 Finalist, Parker HS, South Dakota


And I’d say from the designs seen here tonight, we’ve definitely achieved that.

At Americans for the Arts, we believe that art makes our world beautiful and our students smart and successful.

Did you know that students who are involved in the arts are:

  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office

We know from research that there is a correlation between academic achievement, creativity, and the arts. But Americans for the Arts doesn’t support arts education just because it might help you academically. Art, and programs like Custom Culture, can:

  • provide you with confidence;
  • empower you;
  • help you tell your story; and
  • perhaps even provide you with a career path.
Top 5 Finalist, Foothill HS, Nevada Top 5 Finalist, Foothill HS, Nevada


Americans for the Arts believes that magic takes place when a young person realizes that, through their creation, their voice has value and impact. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the teachers and parents that help facilitate that magic. Let’s give a big shout out right now to your teachers and parents who worked hard to provide you with this opportunity and made sure that your voice was heard.

Top 5 Finalist, Foothill HS, Nevada Winning school, Carlsbad HS, California


Together, Vans, Americans for the Arts, teachers and parents can make sure that all students have art in their life. We can keep inspiring the next generation of youth culture and ensure a next generation of artists, thinkers, and innovators who will make the world a better place. People like you.

So if you believe that art is inspiring; that art provides you with perspective; or that art is just plain awesome, then I want you to repeat after me the Americans for the Arts motto: “I believe…in all the arts…for all the people.”

Thank you.

1 responses for VANS Inspires the Next Generation of Artists, Designers, and Innovators


Mr. Redfred Garett says
October 06, 2016 at 1:28 am

The Vans Custom Culture competition offers students a fresh perspective on art and an outlet for self expression through the synthesizing of design, fashion, and function during this unique contest and multimedia exhibit.  This program seeks to increase both visibility and resources for schools across the country. Vans Custom Culture Grants are available to public high schools (grades 9–12) that include the arts as an integral component of an excellent education, and to support activities that are consistent with local and national learning standards for arts education.
Thanks !!

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