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At Valley, art, both performing and visual, is a big part of our success. The Visual Arts Department teaches Art History, Art Criticism, Art Production, and Aesthetics. Many students who submit art portfolios to colleges and art schools across the country get recognized and win scholarships.

The Valley Music Department got the first GRAMMY® Signature School award in 1999. The Valley Marchmasters, a group of 240 students, were chosen to perform in the 2004 Tournament of Roses Parade. The Valley Orchestra even went on concert tours in Austria and Italy. Our singing groups and jazz ensembles have showcased their talents in various national and international festivals, from Carnegie Hall to Disney World. In drama, students have been picked as Iowa High School Speech Association All-State performers, winning the All-State Sweepstakes Trophy and the Critic’s Choice Award.


Staplin Performing Arts Center

The Staplin Performing Arts Center, or PAC, opened on Nov. 16, 2014, and was dedicated on Nov. 12, 2015. It's like a special home for the arts in the WDMCS community. They made it with the audience in mind, using the latest equipment and acoustics to make people comfortable and engaged during performances. 

Staplin Center Overview:

  • It has 1,136 fixed seats for the audience.
  • The stage area is 42 feet by 100 feet.
  • There's a big 50-foot by 24-foot opening called a proscenium.
  • They even have a lift for the orchestra pit that moves by itself.
  • The makeup room has 74 feet of counter and mirror space.

The Staplin Center is named after Dr. Phyllis Staplin, who worked in the West Des Moines Community Schools for 33 years and was a big supporter of the arts and education. She retired in 2012 and passed away in 2018 after bravely fighting cancer.

Performing Arts Center Manager

Amanda Pichler

Performing Arts Center Technical Package

Performing Arts Center Fee Schedule