As an academic advisor, Diccon Conant is a strong supporter of students' careers. He could even be called a patron of the arts: "Over the years I have admired (and sometimes purchased!) art created by students I have advised. I have loaded their music onto my phone, posted their paintings on my wall, visited exhibitions, concerts, and film showings, and even worn a t-shirt that a student designed."
"When you are an artist, it is a calling and quite simply, it is difficult, if not impossible, to pursue anything else," advisor Karin Hunter-Byrd says. Hunter-Byrd pursues her own calling in the arts and higher education through her role as an advisor in CAM.
Production design professor Nathan Thompson says each set is "a new puzzle to solve with new challenges required by the story and the director's vision." Thompson shares how he uses these challenges to spur creativity in our five question interview.
"I am always surprised at the efforts our students go through to make it through their degree programs," Professor Sam McGuire says of the students he encounters in the Music & Entertainment Industry Studies program.
As the Program Manager for the Music & Entertainment Industry Studies (MEIS) department in the College of Arts & Media (CAM) at CU Denver, Christie would like aspiring musicians to know this: The business side of the music industry is just as important as the talent.
Digital design professor Michelle Carpenter originally came to Colorado on her way to Los Angeles to try her luck in the music scene. She visited friends in Boulder and fell in love with the area, the rock climbing, and the Colorado lifestyle.
"After having worked in different cultures, I feel cross-cultural experiences broaden the lens through which we view the world around us. It informs our storytelling and our philosophy as filmmakers and educators," filmmaker and senior instructor Roma Sur says.
Molly Farrell White went from film school at CU Denver straight into professional camera work. White credits the collaborative nature of CAM with helping her prepare for the fast-paced environment of real-world filmmaking.
Todd Reid was only 11 when he performed his first real gig on the Mississippi riverboat Delta Queen. Since that time, Reid has been involved in local music scenes from Cincinnati to New York City to Denver. A senior instructor in CAM, Reid specializes in percussion, jazz, and electronic music.
Lily Williams is an author, illustrator, and storyteller whose work covers topics from conservation, to menstrual equity, to mental health. As a lecturer at CU Denver, Williams encourages students to find their own creative voices.
Professor Andrew Bateman caught the filmmaking bug while studying at Metro State College in Denver. His professional and academic pursuits took him across the U.S. and back again, where he began teaching in CAM in 2016.
An accomplished violin and guitar player (including the electrical versions of both of those instruments), Walker comes from musical stock: His father, George Walker, was the first African American winner of a Pulitzer Prize in music. His mother, Helen Walker-Hill, was an academic whose research focused on the music of Black women who received less than their deserved share of history’s attention.
Associate Professor of Art History Maria Elena Buszek came by her love of art history via the unconventional road of punk music. Her perspective on what makes art worthy of study speaks to the diverse students who feel at home in CAM.
Sreeja Chakrabarty chose to study at CU Denver because she believes the non-traditional music programs will give her the foundation necessary to pursue a career at the intersection of music and social work.
Jasmine Cisneros '21 is a Set Dressing Technical Director Resident at Pixar and a graduate of the College of Arts & Media. Cisneros earned dual degrees in Illustration and 3D Graphics and Animation. She also earned a minor in Creative Writing.