Listen and look: RiNo walls have stories to tell
Jennifer Castor | Arts District

Tour RiNo on foot and you’re bound to see murals that spark emotions and conversations.

On a recent Saturday morning I met a group of running friends at 27th & Larimer in the heart of Denver’s River North Arts District, also known as RiNo, for a 3-mile run.

Equipped with an iPhone and a GoPro camera, we documented the workout and the messages we “heard” along the way.

The five of us shared a rollercoaster of emotions as each mile passed.

Starting on Larimer Street we got a glimpse into Denver’s booming art scene. From a whimsical sci-fi scene (including Yoda and aliens) in the alley behind Improper City, to stunning three-dimensional murals along the once busy Larimer Street, the vibrant energy of this city surrounded us.

Exploring the RiNo art alleys on foot.

The economic devastation from the COVID-19 pandemic was also noticeable. Once bustling sidewalks were eerily quiet.

A turn onto Walnut Street took us behind Tracks Denver Nightclub for a colorful celebration in the Rainbow Alley. This made our hearts happy.

Then we ran towards 31st & Walnut streets. The murals in the alley behind Epic Brewing Company spoke the loudest.

New murals have popped up all around RiNo (and Denver) and seem to be shouting our city’s cries for social justice.

The hashtag #SprayTheirName accompanies murals of Atatiana Jefferson, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and more.

This hashtag is part of a mission started by local muralists to “keep important conversations alive” here in Colorado and across the country. Learn more at

This run or walk is a great addition to any summer planning. Its free, outside (good for social distancing) and sparks a number of conversations.

Plan your own visit to RiNo at

Art alert update:
For those interested in the annual Crush Walls mural painting event, good news! It is on-schedule for September 14-20, 2020. More information at

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