Yunina Barbour-Payne

Scholar, Artist, Educator

From Art for Social Justice, Affrilachian Theater, Theatre for and with Youth to Short Comedy, you may find it all here.


Her Story

Yunina Barbour-Payne is a scholar, artist and educator from Louisville, KY, currently residing in Houston, TX. She yields a passion for the arts and social justice in its variety of forms.

As a performing artist, Yunina is a playwright, director and actress. Her recent works involve topics such as violent injustice against youth sparking the Black Lives Matter movement, individual histories of talented people of color over time and embodied performances and personal expressions of survival among African American women in Appalachia.

As an Affrilachian scholar/artist she has performed historical interpretations of significant figures regionally in Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and Texas. Barbour-Payne’s performances can be found at the Museum of Blacksburg Odd Fellows Hall and have been presented at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

As a scholar/artist, Yunina embraces the intersectionality of her identity as a scholar/artist and educator and that interrelationship is evident in all the work she directs and produces. Yunina’s scholarship is interdisciplinary and involves Africana studies, Appalachian studies, folklore, art for social justice and performance.

Yunina's C.V. Portfolio

  • Acting on the Stage
  • Live Performance Directing
  • Teaching
  • Devising and Performance
  • Museum Theater experience


Photographer: Adriana Byrum (

Head shot: Yunina Barbour-Payne