K-12 Education Programs

Des Moines Performing Arts believes that all students deserve access to high quality artistic experiences as part of a complete education. Studies show that the arts foster creativity, enhance critical thinking, and help students make important connections to the world around them.

Applause Series school performances at Des Moines Performing Arts introduce students to the wonder of the performing arts while also reinforcing curriculum objectives. The school matinees are accessibly priced at just $1 per ticket and are attended by more than 50,000 students and educators annually. Attending schools receive a performance-based curriculum guide that includes important background information, activities and discussion questions that enhance students’ understanding of the show.

Students who attend performances at Des Moines Performing Arts have the opportunity to deepen the learning through special extension opportunities that reinforce the performance’s themes or academic content. Des Moines Performing Arts partners with non-profit organizations and local teaching artists to develop these opportunities.

Des Moines Performing Arts provides exemplary professional development training for teachers through its partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Taught by national experts, the program provides educators with powerful teaching strategies that combine the arts with core curriculum areas – giving traditional subjects new life and fostering students’ enthusiasm for learning.

Through the generous support of our Members, Des Moines Performing Arts' school programs are offered for little to no cost to participating schools.


Des Moines Performing Arts
aspires to be a national leader in presenting the performing arts by engaging the Midwest in world-class entertainment, education, and cultural activities.
  • Des Moines Performing
    Arts Partnerships:
Des Moines Performing Arts is a private 501 (C) (3) not-for-profit corporation presenting the performing arts to Iowa and the surrounding states. It is the presenter of major Broadway and educational touring companies, performers and groups, and is the performing home of many local and regional groups, including the Des Moines Symphony. Events, dates, times, performers and prices subject to change without notice.
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