Music band, Sister Neapolitan

College of Arts and Media Makes Masks, Music, and Movies

April 20, 2020

In the era of COVID-19, the biggest heroes in the College of Arts & Media are the faculty who are quickly adapting and diligently working to keep their students engaged, even when it’s a struggle.

“The transition to remote learning in the College of Arts & Media has two sides: First off, CAM faculty and students are technologically minded, trained, and enabled. It is what we do,” Dean Laurence Kaptain explains. “On the other hand, we operate 12 computer labs, specialized studios, high-end software, and other limitations on ‘taking CAM home.’”

In response to those limitations, many faculty members and students are going the extra mile. If you need proof, take a look at the CAM at Home webpage. The interactive, digital display showcases the creative ways faculty and students are staying connected and supporting one another.

“CAM was founded 20 years ago at the intersection of arts, technology and commerce,” Kaptain said. “As a college, we are interested in providing students with an entrepreneurial mindset and the tools to enable and encourage self-sufficiency. “

Take a look at some of the creative ways CAM is responding to coronavirus.

Keeping in Touch with Dean Kaptain

On Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m., Kaptain is hosting the first “Dean’s Parent Chat” on Zoom for parents of all admitted, prospective, and current students in the College of Arts & Media. Topics will include the academic curriculum, advising, career opportunities, creative economies and industries, global education, and the current climate surrounding COVID-19’s effect on higher education. 

Keep up with Kaptain on his blog.

(Virtually) Networking with Industry Experts

CAM faculty member Storm Gloor is working hard to keep the college’s Music and Entertainment Industry Studies (MEIS) not just afloat, but thriving.

What began as a virtual live performance and guest speaker has grown into a regular gathering of students, alums, and music industry professionals. The brainchild of Gloor and MEIS student Edwina Mabin, “CAMpanionship Fridays” are an opportunity to network, share resources and job opportunities, and discuss the powerful impacts of COVID-19 on the music industry.

Storm is also instrumental in a large-scale, virtual gathering of creative leaders to examine and build upon how the local creative and music economies have responded to the global pandemic. At this year’s SXSW conference, he was scheduled to present on the future of music cities alongside renowned music industry scholar Dr. Gigi Johnson from UCLA. When those plans were canceled, they turned their focus to an online platform for their research, which they spent months (and years of groundwork) prepping.

Not wanting to lose momentum, and seeing the effects of coronavirus on the the music ecosystems and the “music cities” movement they were a part of building, they created the Amplify Music: Resilience and Community Eco Systems in Local Music, a two-day virtual conference on April 23 – 24. The conference will run 25 consecutive hours to accommodate partners, speakers, and attendees all over the globe. The million-dollar question is, “What’s the world going to be like for entertainment after this?” Gloor said.

Addressing a Community Need

3D-Graphics & Animation Professor Howard Cook is using his personal 3D printer to join the fight against COVID-19. When he heard about the need for medical face shields through Inworks and Make4Covid, he set up his 3D printer (which he previously used for creating puppets for a 3D-stop-motion short film) to create the plastic components needed. As of late March, he had created about 40 components using strict quality control standards.

CAM faculty create face masks using 3D computers

Medical experts from the Anschutz campus provided instructions for sanitizing his machine, materials, and work space. He’s enlisting students and faculty to join the force.

“As a designer and a maker, we are hard wired to think about the impact our work has,” Cook said. “At this point I can think of no greater an impact than working to provide our frontline medical care givers the armor they need to help prevent them from succumbing to this deadly virus.”

Sharing Music

CAM’s Music and Entertainment Industry Studies students and faculty continue to make music from their homes, and lucky for us, they are sharing their creations online.

Follow student Bharat Bhargava on Instagram: @the_unofficial_bharat.

Guitar Performance Professor Paul Musso plays for the people from his living room. 

CAM’s Music and Entertainment Industry Studies students, faculty, and alums created a Spotify playlist of their very own tracks. How cool!

Sharing Good News on Social 

Follow @CUDenverCAM on Instagram to join the CAM community, experience student take-overs, and maybe even catch a pop-up IG Live concert by Alana (from CAM band @sisterneopolitan).

Awarded $5,000 from the Dean’s Student Innovation Award, senior filmmakers Jaime and Reilly are staying connected with CAM staff to share their progress on Highly Functioning, a short film about a teenager with autism. Follow along behind the scenes on their Instagram account: @highlyfunctioningfilm.

Visit CAM at Home to learn more about the college’s efforts!