Art RiNo, a new mural festival replacing Crush Walls, will take over RiNo Art District, Sept. 5-11, 2022

The River North Art District, which was founded to rebrand and promote one of Denver’s fastest-growing entertainment districts, is putting the art back in its name with a weeklong mural festival in September.

The festival ostensibly replaces Crush Walls, the formative mural-making event for the district that disappeared from the RiNo calendar after founder Robin Munro was accused of sexual assault and abuse, according to Denverite. Monro has denied the allegations.

Art RiNo, as this new event is called, will take place Sept. 5-11 in the pedestrian-friendly retail, entertainment and residential district, taking advantage of its thousands of square feet of brick and plaster wall space to present new works of street art. The event will coincide with the Westword Music Showcase, which takes place in and around RiNo’s Mission Ballroom venue, Sept. 9-10.

“There will be tons of arts-focused events throughout the week for all ages, a partnership with Westword Music Showcase to spotlight local artists alongside national acts, an event in partnership with IRL Art, plus six new murals on six walls (artists announced soon),” organizers wrote in a press statement.

The festival is a response to feedback asking for more than just a mural-focused event, according to Tracy Weil, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit RiNo. That spans visual arts to theater and music, he said.

In the mural sphere, the fest will feature a half-dozen murals created by local and international artists, beginning Sept. 5.

(Also, from May 9 to 11, in a runup to Art RiNo, a partnership with IRL Arts called Luminade will feature an in-person display of light installations at the Promenade at ArtPark, roughly at 35th and Arkins Court.)

Pushing back against its reputation as a haven mostly for twentysomethings, RiNo will also offer family-focused workshops and events throughout the district, Sept. 7-11, and host an ArtPark fundraiser on Sept. 8 with live music, installations and more “to benefit the next phase of development for the community hub.”

Like Westword Music Showcase, names are still being finalized, and a lineup will be announced in the coming weeks, organizers said.

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