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Dallas-area high school sneaks big donation from iconic shoe brand

Dallas-area high school sneaks big donation from iconic shoe brand

Cedar Hill High School Vans
Cedar Hill High School students showed some Dallas pride with their designs. Photo courtesy of Vans

For years, art education programs in Texas schools have been operating on shoestring budgets with few resources. But one North Texas high school is booting that predicament, landing a $15,000 donation for its art program from a major footwear biz — all thanks to students’ creativity.

Cedar Hill High School, located in Cedar Hill, was named one of five school finalists in the 12th annual Vans Custom Culture competition, which aims to inspire high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design.

More than 1,000 schools throughout the country participated in the contest, which involved the students using Vans shoes as the canvas for their submitted art, featuring the themes of “hometown pride” and “head in the clouds.” Vans is footing the bill for the winning school’s art program with a $50,000 contribution.

In addition to Cedar Hill, another Texas school —  Edison High School in San Antonio — also earned a spot as a top-five finalist. The other three finalist schools were Fontainebleau High School in Mandeville, Louisiana; Secaucus High School in Secaucus, New Jersey; and Temple City High School in Temple City, California.

Vans announced Thursday, May 27 that the winning school was Fontainebleau High School. But Cedar Hill High has plenty to be proud of, as it put its best foot forward in the contest and, like all runners-up, will bring home $15,000 for the school’s art program, in addition to students getting some artist mentorship from Vans and the opportunity to apply for a wealth of scholarships from Vans partner Scholarship America.

As part of the program, schools were provided gift cards by Vans’ arts supplies partner Yoobi to purchase needed art supplies for their designs. Though only one design was ultimately chosen to represent each school, students created several designs. The Cedar Hill High School shoe designs definitely speak to Dallas' hometown pride, with the word "Dallas" painted cleverly on the soles.

“After receiving both physical and digital submissions, it’s evident that this year’s winners were collaborative, innovative, and dedicated to show the world their art, no matter the obstacle,” a Vans release about the finalists notes.

Since its inception, the Vans Custom Culture program has reached hundreds of thousands of U.S. students and donated more than $1 million to high school art programs nationwide.