Artist Heidi Hess has been part of the CHAW family since 2006 teaching dance and jewelry making classes in Early Childhood, Youth and Adult programs. In addition, she chairs CHAW’s Dance Department and also serves as the faculty representative on the CHAW Board of Directors. Through these varied roles she has gained unique insights in arts education and community art building that truly embody the CHAW story. With those insights, she is eager to share new ideas and strategies for growing the arts throughout the community. In particular, her work with Pre K students has confirmed for her just how adventurous and full of passion for learning the youngest CHAW students are. That, coupled with her own multi-disciplinary perspective as an artist and a dancer, has led her to fully understand the importance of adopting art as a way of life from a very early age and by extension, the role that CHAW plays in helping neighborhood families to access and nurture those leadings. To that end, she has been instrumental in helping CHAW to expand its programming for Pre K children to include more teachers, more variety of dance, and more visual and integrated arts classes. Because she has been integral in introducing so many families to dance and to CHAW and has developed close ties to those families whose children she has taught, she also envisioned a broader educational role for herself as CHAW grows its Early Childhood programs. This winter, Heidi added Early Childhood Parent Liaison to the variety of hats she wears at CHAW. As such, she will serve as a primary resource for parents and caregivers of 2 – 5 year olds helping them to not only navigate classes and programs for families at CHAW but engaging parents in an ongoing dialogue about kids and the arts. Look for her at family-friendly events, visiting classes, leading hands-on activities and offering new ways to incorporate arts as a way of life for a lifetime. Please feel free to contact Heidi with questions or thoughts about Early Childhood programming at CHAW at firstname.lastname@example.org.