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Detroit Narrative Agency

ill weaver sitting in a dark hallway with pictures lining the walls

ill Weaver


ill Weaver is a founding director of Detroit Narrative Agency. In addition to their work with DNA they are an artist and organizer who co-founded Emergence Media, Complex Movements, Detroit Future Youth, and coordinated Detroit Summer for over a decade. Their artistic work has been recognized by awards and fellowships including: Sundance Knight Fellows (2016), United States Artists (2015), Kresge Arts in Detroit (2010), and the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for Women and Gender in the Arts and Media (2009).

Cornetta Lane headshot standing

Cornetta Lane Smith

Cornetta Lane Smith, Director of Community Impact

Cornetta Lane Smith is the Director of Community Impact at Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA), where she will facilitate post-film activities to inspire community change. Cornetta earned a BA in Near Eastern Studies at Wayne State University and a Master's degree in Community Development at the University of Detroit Mercy.

Cornetta believes that storytelling can heal, build community, and shift harmful narratives. Since 2015, Cornetta has founded three community storytelling projects: Core City Stories, Pedal to Porch, and Dinner for 30 — all of which provides Detroiters a platform to tell stories that truly matter to them.

Outside of work, Cornetta enjoys dancing, cooking, nature walks with her husband and son.

Cornetta Lane headshot standing

Ryan Pearson

Ryan Pearson, Director of Programs
Ryan is the Director of Programs for Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA) She is a native Detroiter, innate creative, cinephile, and arts administrator by trade.

She received her Bachelor of Theater of Arts from the University of Michigan, and later completed graduate studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Ryan has been involved in storytelling through media and theatre for over a decade, working in Film & TV production in various roles, producing live Theatre, and managing various arts programs for nonprofit organizations. Ryan's goal is to contribute to immersing Detroit and the world in layered, complex, and nuanced stories centering people of the African Diaspora and other beautiful communities that have often been misrepresented, underrepresented, neglected, and/or overlooked.

Outside of work, Ryan spends time learning, traveling, laughing, enjoying various art forms, being in community, reading, engaging in various healing practices for the mind, body, and spirit, and participating in activism related to body liberation, fat acceptance, and social issues affecting Black and Brown women, girls, and femmes.