Americans for the Arts is pleased to again partner with VANS 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.

About the grant

VANS Custom Culture Grants are available to public high schools (including charter schools) serving students in grades 9-12. 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 music and/or visual arts instruction for students.

What is the timeline?

Applications open Wednesday, November 16, 2016 and close on Friday, December 9, 2016. A judging panel will convene in mid-December to select the 10 grant recipients.  Americans for the Arts will notify grant recipients in early January and will disperse all grant funds by January 31, 2017. Funds must be used between January and June 2017. A blog reporting on projects and activities funded by the VANS Custom Culture Grants will be due to Americans for the Arts no later than May 15, 2017. Selected grantees will have their grant report posted on ARTSblog.

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

Contact Information

For more information regarding the VANS Custom Culture Grant program, or for clarification about the criteria or the application process, please contact Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Manager at Americans for the Arts:  or 202-371-2830.



2016 VANS Custom Culture Grant
School Application Form
Deadline: December 9, 2016

Application Process
Please complete the online application no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Friday, December 9, 2016. (For a full timeline, please see the grant guidelines .)


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: