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Parliament Arts Organization names first Black president

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Cal Weary, the newly named board president of the Parliament Arts Organization.

The York City-based Parliament Arts Organization has named its first Black leader, tapping local artist Cal Weary as its board president.

The organization, first created in 2010 with headquarters at 116 E. King St., focuses on promoting local artists and fostering a diverse art community. Weary may be best known as a local arts advocate and founder of Weary Arts Group.

"We are artists first. We are the many colors of the rainbow, and we provide all members of our community the opportunity to experience the healing and mind-expanding panacea of all that art has to offer in its many forms," Weary said in a Monday news release.

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Weary, who attended York College, has long been an active figure in the arts community. Between 2005 and 2011, he served as the director for the William Penn Performing Arts Institute.

He had also served as a director at the New Hope Academy Charter School before most recently founding Weary Arts Group in 2014.

While Weary is the first Black person to hold a leadership in the organization since its inception, the board itself includes other people of color, including those of Latino heritage.

Collin Holder, executive director of the organization, said the organization takes pride in continuing its goal of increasing awareness about artists of color.

“Diversity is actually a part of our strategic planning," Holder said. "The next 6 months of our programming is all minority based."

The organization is now showing an art piece known as "Through Our Lens: I Can’t Breathe" by Washington Winnona Images LLC.

The display highlights the peaceful protests in York City in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis Police officer in May.

Floyd's death sparked protests nationwide, some of which turned violent. But York City officials have praised locals for keeping local demonstrations peaceful.

The organization has other diversity-focused events coming up, such as a Hispanic Heritage Month art show in October.

The Parliament Arts Organization has served as the leader of special events in York City since February, a decision made through a request for proposals process.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led the organization to cancel multiple events. Most recently, it had to cancel the YorkFest Fine Arts Festival that was slated for late August.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.