RiNo Art District splits with Crush Walls after sexual assault allegations against festival founder

Robin Munro uses spray paint to create a mural on a wall during Duct-Work in the I-70 Viaduct in Denver, Colorado on October 1, 2016. Denver Urban Arts Fund is helping to bring new life to the I-70 viaduct through art. Duct-Work features over 20 artists that are painting murals to bring color to the dark underpass until the viaduct is demolished in a few years.
Robin Munro uses spray paint to create a mural on a wall during Duct-Work in the I-70 Viaduct in Denver, Colorado on October 1, 2016. Denver Urban Arts Fund is helping to bring new life to the I-70 viaduct through art. Duct-Work features over 20 artists that are painting murals to bring color to the dark underpass until the viaduct is demolished in a few years.
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The River North Art District and its signature event, the Crush Walls mural festival, have parted ways after sexual assault allegations against its founder, Robin Munro, surfaced on social media.

“It was a mutual agreement,” wrote RiNo Art District founder Tracy Weil in an email to The Denver Post.

“Contrary to the misguided conclusions in recent media articles, Mr. Munro and RiNo mutually decided to part ways,” wrote Kathryn J. Stimson, an attorney for Munro, in a statement emailed to The Post. “Mr. Munro is back in control of Crush Walls, (and) is actively creating a panel of artists to further grow and expand the Crush Walls movement.”

A statement from RiNo leadership, first published in Westword, said art-district officials will be “continuing to provide paid opportunities for artists with our mural programming and new events in 2021.”

Munro, who works under the name Dread, was not specifically named in a Sept. 21 Instagram post by former romantic partner Grow Love, who accused “the founder” of Crush Walls of “violent sexual assault” after they began dating in 2017.

The post, which also included allegations of inappropriate interaction with Grow Love’s 8-year-old daughter, of slander and one other incident of reported sexual assault, ended with the phrase “violent people.”

“I came forward to friends and community members because I didn’t want what had happened to us to happened (sic) to other women and children,” she wrote. “I was completely blackballed from the community.”

RiNo investigated the claims, temporarily putting contracts on hold, and on Dec. 2 decided to cut ties with Munro and Crush, Westword reported.

Munro on Thursday denied the allegations through his attorney, Stimson, in a statement.

“After a complete investigation, including review of all communications between Mr. Munro and the online accusers, it is readily apparent that the allegations against Mr. Munro are demonstrably false …,” she wrote. “Crush Walls remains the exclusive mural art festival in the RiNo area and Mr. Munro looks forward to growing the Crush Walls movement within the district and beyond.”

In 2017, Crush Walls won Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s Arts & Culture Innovation Award, citing Munro’s aim to create an event that “showcases the amazing artistic talents he saw not only in Denver, but also across the world.”

Crush began in 2010 at the Exdo Event Center and, after three years, was relocated to the alley between 26th and 27th streets and Larimer and Walnut streets before growing to encompass the entire art district, located mostly in the Five Points neighborhood, according to RiNo officials.

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