Cal Weary: Addicted to Art

Cal Weary was 4 when he realized the energy he pulled from being in front of a crowd. Now, he feels that same energy helping his students realize their potential.

Written by: Kate Penn
Cal Weary (Photo by Jeff Lautenberger for Our York Media)

When Cal Weary was a little kid, his mom took him to see a jazz band from New Orleans.  

The place was packed — a giant, Mardi-Gras-like party with driving, upbeat zydeco music that you couldn’t not dance to. 

When a line of people dancing snaked past the 4-year-old Cal, he didn’t hesitate, jumping to the front and leading it to the stage among the musicians. 

He’ll never forget that feeling: being on stage, feeding off the energy of the crowd and the music. To Cal, it just felt right. 

“I looked out at that audience,” he says, “and I was like, ‘This is where I belong.’” 

Turning nothing into art 

He calls it his addiction. 

“There’s nothing like taking something that was nothing and turning it into art,” he says. 

He craves it. 

Since that day at 4 years old, Cal has chased that feeling — searching for the next project, the next performance, the next opportunity to be looking out into a crowd. 

There’s nothing like taking something that was nothing and turning it into art.

Cal Weary

For a while, he found it in fire halls and basements as the lead singer of Eden Park, an underground punk-rock band.   

When he walked on stage the audience would scream, all of their emotions just pouring into him. 

“It was like straight energy from the sun,” he says. 

Sharing through teaching  

Cal was still rocking out in basements when he first started teaching. But eventually, his love for arts education won out over everything else. 

He’s seen art completely change the direction of a person’s life. And the feeling that comes from being a part of that is euphoric — like looking out at a screaming crowd. 

This summer, his students performed The Wiz at Foundry Park. Cal looked up the hill at the audience while the crowd laughed, cried and clapped — pouring their emotions into the show, the cast. 

Suddenly, he was that 4-year-old kid again, leading a line of people dancing and staring out at that crowd. 

This was where he belonged. 

Weary Arts Group was founded in 2014. Today, it provides arts education throughout York County. Weary Arts Group is appearing in this year’s first-ever York Fringe Festival, supported with a creative impact award grant by the Cultural Alliance of York County. 

Paid for by the Cultural Alliance of York County
14 W. Market St., York, PA 17401

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