Breaking Codes: NIA JUNE

  • D. Watkins
  • APoetNamedNate
  • Kirby Griffin


SNF Parkway Theatre 2 Fri, Dec 9, 2022 7:30 PM


Join us for the return of Breaking Codes, a weekend-long event that highlights emerging moving image makers who are building radical, expansive and wholly new definitions of cinematic form. This year we are thrilled to welcome Nick Briz, NIA JUNE, and Amina Ross and explore their work over the course of four free events. 

For the first program of the weekend, Baltimore artist NIA JUNE will present an evening of video works alongside a conversation with her collaborators Kirby Griffin and APoetNamedNate moderated by author, D Watkins. A poet and performer, NIA JUNE creates moving image works that incorporate spoken language and music to lovingly document the people around her. Using constructed and found environments as backdrops, NIA JUNE invokes tableau and employs choreography to create an evocative connection between viewer and subject, leaving an impression of closeness between those in front of and behind the camera in her works.


NIA JUNE is a Baltimore native, author, filmmaker, performer, arts educator, and dancer. Her short film work combines original poetry, portraiture, movement, and music collaborations to document and celebrate the Black diaspora of Baltimore and beyond. JUNE’s debut film, A Black Girl's Country, appeared in national and international film festivals and was acquired by The Baltimore Museum of Art as a part of their permanent collection in 2021. JUNE’s writing has been published in Obsidian: Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora, Lullwater Review, and FIYAH Lit Mag. JUNE graduated from Towson University, where she was awarded the Presidential Scholarship from SWI for 'Excellence in Poetry.' She was recognized by Baltimore Magazine as Best Poet of Baltimore 2020.

D. Watkins is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Beast Side, The Cook Up, Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised, and We Speak for Ourselves—which was Enoch Pratt Free Library’s 2020 One Book Baltimore selection. His newest book, Black Boy Smile, was released in May. Watkins is Editor-at-Large for Salon. He is a writer on the HBO mini-series We Own This City and hosts the show’s companion podcast. Additionally, he was featured in the HBO documentary, The Slow Hustle. His work has been published in the New York Times, Esquire, New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and other publications. Watkins is a college lecturer at the University of Baltimore, where he earned an MFA in Creative Writing. He also holds a Master of Education degree from Johns Hopkins University.  Some of Watkins' awards include the Johns Hopkins Distinguished Alumnus Award, the City Lit Dambach Award for Service to the Literary Arts, the Maryland Library Association’s William Wilson Maryland Author Award, and Ford’s Men of Courage Award for Black Male Storytellers. He was also a finalist for a 2016 Hurston Wright Legacy Award, and Black Boy Smile won the 2022 Paris Book Award for General Nonfiction.  He lives in Baltimore, MD with his wife and daughter.

APoetNamedNate is a multifaceted artist from Baltimore with a diverse artistic background. He is a poet, music producer, songwriter, creative director, filmmaker and event curator. Known for his poetry productions, bringing both nationally ranked and amateur poets together, with a goal to create a space where poetry can be experienced authentically. He also has two short films as the creative director and music producer for "The Unveiling Of God" and “A Black Girl’s Country” and his first book “Anticipational Love Poems” is available now.


Kirby Griffin is a cinematographer and street photographer from the West Baltimore area of Maryland. As a child of the arts, Kirby pursued filmmaking in his early twenties after initially chasing a dream of being a performance artist - spoken word/acting - searching for the perfect outlet to express himself as a storyteller. In the wake of the DSLR era, he set his sights on cinematography in 2011, with the help of a friend and fellow artist ‘Jerald Kerr’, also known as ‘Jay Mastermind’. Both motivated outside of the academic structure, they began teaching themselves the art and craft of filmmaking by diving headfirst, purchasing their own equipment and then filming, directing, and editing as much as possible. They came away with Countless hours of study by way of literature, youtube tutorials, lectures, networking, and a tremendous amount of trial and error, which proved essential.


See all the programs that are part of Breaking Codes 2022!

Friday, December 9
7 pm - Nia June Screening with Q&A

Saturday, December 10 
4 pm - Nick Briz Artist Talk with Q&A 

7 pm - Amina Ross Screening with Q&A

Sunday, December 11
2 pm - Tactical Misuse Workshop with Nick Briz 


Breaking Codes is made possible by a generous contribution from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.



  • Face masks are required at all times in the SNF Parkway except when consuming concessions in your seat.

  • Patrons are strongly encouraged to avoid the theater if they are feeling unwell or have had a recent unmasked exposure to someone who tested positive. Email with any questions.