Creative Industry Research & Policy


Denver is home to a thriving and growing creative scene and the College of Arts and Media is dedicated understanding to how music, art, and film impacts local, national, and international economies. CAM’s Director of Creative Industries Research and Policy, Michael Seman, Ph.D., ensures that students are ready to enter a changing workforce and have an impact in the creative industry. Dr. Seman's work with policy makers confirms that investment in the arts will continue to contribute to economic growth



Michael Seman recently helped author music strategies for both Denver and Colorado, and works closely with Denver Arts & Venues, Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, and Colorado Creative Industries.

Michael is currently writing a book about music scenes and how they can transform cities for the University of Texas Press. His co-edited volume concerning the production and consumption of music in the digital age was published by Routledge in 2016 as part of their Contemporary Human Geography Series.

Michael was one of 22 globally invited to attend the Experience the Creative Economy conference at the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute in 2011. Along with appearances at academic conferences, he is often invited to speak at professional and civic events across the country. National Public Radio, Wired, The Washington Post, Vice, and many regional media outlets seek his perspective concerning the creative economy. Prior to completing his graduate work, Michael spent several years as an executive at Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills, California where he focused on internal marketing and project development.



Denver has a rich and storied musical past, and is flush with talent and assets, from artists and venues to festivals and promoters – many recognized nationally and internationally. In an effort to help foster continued, sustainable growth as a music city and the broader creative community driving it, Denver Arts & Venues in partnership with Michael Seman and CU Denver has released:

Denver Music Strategy

Punk Rock Entrepreneurship: All-Ages DIY Music Venues and the Urban Economic Landscape




5280 Magazine Cover Story: Denver's Live Music Scene Is Better Than Ever

“Having a thriving music scene isn’t just important because it’s an economic driver,” [Micheal Seman] says. “It’s important because a healthy music scene attracts innovators. Cities should treat their music scenes like their tech clusters.”

KDVR FOX31: Denver’s music industry is growing faster than its energy, aerospace and biotech industries

Vice: DIY Spaces Go Mainstream to Survive

“That was something no one really anticipated and all of a sudden you had all these artists who once had access to spaces that were disappearing,” said Michael Seman, director of creative industries research and policy at the University of Colorado Denver, who has done extensive research on DIY spaces. “It would be good for cities across the country to identify spaces that are underutilized or purchased for reasonable rates with the idea that this will be a DIY art space and can be brought up to code easily.”