The Vans Custom Culture high school arts program moved into an important phase at 9 p.m. PDT last night, when the top 50 semifinalists in a custom-shoe design competition (composed of art students from 10 high schools in each of five regions across the country), were posted online.Until May 2, the general public will be able to view — and vote for — their favorite design in each region (Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest and California). Representatives of the winning team from each region will participate in a final exhibit in June in New York City, with the winning team receiving a $50,000 donation to their high school’s arts education program — and the chance to see their shoe designs hit retail sometime in 2012.It’s the second year of the program for the VF Corp.-owned action sports brand, which last year gave top honors to the arts students of Rio Rancho High School of Rio Rancho, N.M.The five California semifinalists vying for the 2011 honor are: Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego), Cathedral City High School (Cathedral City), Corona Del Mar High School (Corona Del Mar), Da Vinci Schools (Hawthorne), Diamond Bar High School (Diamond Bar), Dos Pueblos High School (Goleta), Heritage High School (Menifee), Minarets High School (O’Neals) Orange High School (Orange) and Sacramento New Tech High School (Sacramento).

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