Designed for Action: Mass Communication Major is Giving Back to the Local Arts Community
At York College, students aren’t just reading textbooks and listening to lectures. They’re working on community projects, solving real-world problems, and using their education to effect change. In Designed for Action, we meet the students who are making an impact outside of the classroom.
Giving back to the local community has always been a goal for Ella Weary ’25.
In fact, the York College Mass Communication major has been working with her father Cal Weary ’99 and his company, Weary Arts, for several years, going into local schools and helping with their arts programs.
“I've been a stage manager before for the schools. I've also helped with their tech. I've videotaped certain shows before, so anything behind the scenes, I've done that for them,” she says. She’s also filmed videos for local events such as Give Local York and King Street Jam.
Ella decided she wanted to be more involved with the local community when her father founded the company a few years ago.
“My father has done stuff in the arts my entire life,” she says. “I did my first show when I was seven, Jesus Christ: Superstar. I've always been part of theatre and I've always been able to help out.”
Weary Arts is engaged in a variety of activities, from assisting arts programs and stage productions in local York schools to helping out with the York Revs, with events such as the July 4 fireworks and Panic at the Ballpark, a haunted house attraction located in the stadium.
Finding a niche
From the beginning, Ella knew she wanted to do something with a camera.
“I prefer to be on camera or behind the camera,” she says. “Because I preferred the acting aspect, I wanted to learn a trade where I could be both the actress and understand how the camera worked so that I could get the best take.”
She found her propensity for this work in supporting her siblings while they were growing up, as both are involved in the arts. Her older brother works in the industry, and her younger sister plays in a local band called Before the End.
“I also wanted to find a way to be able to promote them and help them in their endeavors, because my family is very close,” Ella says. York College runs in the family—her mother, Stephanie Weary ’07, is also an alum. “We've always found a way to help each other with anything that we need.”
Preparing for the future
Ella cites the Audio, Video, and Broadcast Performance classes in the Mass Communication major for helping her prepare for her work in the local community.
All of her classes have helped her create a professional finished project, something she’ll need to achieve her goal of working as a reporter in the news industry upon graduating.
“Taking Audio I with Jeff Schiffman taught me how to edit that audio and how to put in certain things to refine your audio and make it sound better,” she explains. “I also took Video with Craig Do’Vidio, and we had a project called dual-process where I got to work on my match action skills, which is when you take certain clips and you put them together so that it looks like the clips were shot in succession.”
Broadcast Performance taught her how to be on camera, and gave her an idea of what working as a reporter will be like.
“The last class, which may have been one of my favorites, was Broadcast Performance, because I got to be on camera and learn how to write a script, learn how to be an anchor and a weather woman, and also learn how to work with a TV crew."
At the end of the day, Ella wants to make sure she’s keeping her focus on the community. Working as a news reporter would allow her to do that.
“I’d get to show some of the things that we do here in the community in a different light because being able to showcase my community and change peoples’ lives would be giving to me as a future reporter, but also to my community so I can help them grow as well,” she says.