Paul A. Newman Jr.
2018–19 Emerging Documentary Artist, Documentary Diversity Project
Paul is a Connecticut-born, North Carolina–bred artist. “From a young age, music has been an instrumental (see what I did there?) part of my life,” he writes, “but my first official run-in with a drum was when I was nine and joined Collage Dance company as a drummer.” In the following years, he participated in all of his schools’ band programs, from middle school through his tenure in college. “I was also able to use my percussionist skills to produce music for the Youth Noise Network Cable TV show. I have been most inspired by the rhythms of African diaspora, the precision of the southern marching band, the classic hip hop bass-drop, and the improvisational jazz riffs.”
“Being part of the cultural arts organization SpiritHouse has also had a profound effect on how I not only view art but make it, and how that impacts my community.” For more than five years, he worked with other teens in Durham to produce audio and video documentaries that explored issues impacting their lives, and they traveled together to present their work at youth convenings across the country.