Courtney Reid-Eaton, Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) exhibitions director and creative director of CDS's Documentary Diversity Project:
"In January of 2018, four Emerging Documentary Artists (EDAs)-Brittany Barbee, Steven Cheek Jr., Paul A. Newman Jr., and Gregory Weaver II-joined the staff of the Center for Documentary Studies as part of the Documentary Diversity Project (DDP), a three-year pilot program to create platforms on which more people of color would build careers in, and nurture a passion for critical consumption of, the documentary arts. Ambria McNeill, CDS's 2017-18 exhibitions intern and a generational peer of the EDAs, has been a vital part of the development of the DDP. All of them came with an attitude of openness and have been experimenting with a variety of tools.
When asked to submit work for an exhibition, the EDAs all-bravely-shared slices of their lives. Brittany described it beautifully in an email, "Title of the exhibition? I am not sure but I know we all submitted things that are dear to us." What a perfect way to introduce themselves, by saying: This is something I care deeply about.
In the first CDS DDP exhibition, "Dear": Ambria McNeill considers the lasting impressions of past relationships; Gregory Weaver II shouts out southern skate culture; Brittany Barbee celebrates home; Steven Cheek Jr. shares grief and resilience; and Paul Newman Jr. introduces his Durham.