Americans for the Arts is pleased to partner with VANS for the Custom Culture Grant program. This program seeks to increase visibility for and resources available to arts educators and schools across the country, in order to sustain the arts as a vital part of education. The grant program is supported by funds from the sales of the winning shoe design in the Custom Culture Art Competition.

Grant Overview

VANS Custom Culture Grants are available to public high schools (including charter schools) serving students in grades 9-12 or community based nonprofit organizations/governmental agencies serving as a fiscal agent for arts programming at a qualifying school. The grants are intended to encourage the inclusion of 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. Ten (10) schools across the country will each receive a $2,000 grant to support their work in providing high-quality dance, media arts, music, theatre and/or visual arts instruction for students.

To learn more, please download the full guidelines (PDF).

Grant Timeline

Applications open Wednesday, November 6, 2019 and close on Friday, December 6, 2019. A judging panel will convene in December to select the 10 grant recipients.  Americans for the Arts will notify grant recipients in January 2020 and will disperse all grant funds by February 1, 2020. Funds must be used between February and May 2020. A final report on projects and activities funded by the Custom Culture Grants will be due to Americans for the Arts no later than July 15, 2020.

Contact Information

For more information regarding the VANS Custom Culture Grant program, or for clarification about the criteria or the application process, please contact Kelly Fey Bolender, Arts Education Program Manager at

Application Process
Application opens on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 and closes on Friday, December 6, 2019.


Applicant Info
Supplemental Materials
Supplemental materials help us get to know your school. They may include: Samples of student work (via images or videos), PowerPoint presentations, photo slide shows, brochures, concert programs, etc. The application contains questions about how your supplemental materials relate to your proposed project for the grant.

Notes about uploading supplemental materials:

  • Photos should be a minimum 300 dpi quality and in a jpg or png format. Please ensure that the file name of the uploaded document is labeled in the following format: “school name_supplemental_materials”.
  • Videos must not exceed 5 minutes, and if it does, please indicate which consecutive 5 minutes you wish the panel to consider. Please make sure you’ve allowed permission to view videos (aka they are not marked “private” on YouTube. Rather, you can make them “unlisted.”)
Application Questions
The following questions will be scored by grant review panelists: