Beautifying the drab, gray scenery that can sometimes plague a city is just one of the ways that graffiti and street art can transform a dull neighborhood into something captivating. CRUSH (formerly Colorado Crush) takes over multiple city blocks in the heart of Denver. Artists from around the world repaint the entire area, creating an enormous outdoor gallery. From hares riding turtles to gorgeous geishas, CRUSH attracts art appreciators from all over to see what each year will bring. Don’t miss the pop-up art gallery by the Meow Wolf collective (which is also included in Life Is Beautiful’s art program this year).
Sept. 11–17, free, crushwalls.org
As one of the only hip-hop festivals still standing, A3C works hard each year to bring a mixture of relevant and legendary rap artists to Atlanta. This year’s bill boasts Your Old Droog, Nas, Ghostface Killah, J-Live, Kool Keith, Day Off, A-Trak, Masta Ace and many more, but it’s not only the music that makes the pilgrimage worth the trip. The conference and speaker panel are full of successful influencers and businesspeople who have made an impact on the music industry, all willing to pass their knowledge along. From aspiring artists and veteran industry figures, A3C is the who’s who of rap.
Oct. 4–8, $70–$485, a3cfestival.com
Red Bull Air Race
Indianapolis is no stranger to the fast-paced world of racing, being the home to the Indianapolis 500 and all. But the Red Bull Air Race takes racing to another level—literally. This in-air spectacle shocks and awes viewers as expert pilots navigate a variety of obstacles and unthinkable speeds. The race takes place at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway over two days this fall. Hold onto your hats.
Oct. 14–15, $45–$65, redbull.com
Open House New York
New York City
For architecture buffs, there are few locations in the U.S. that are as historically captivating as New York City. While it’s one thing to appreciate a Gothic revival or art deco building from the outside, the opportunity to see their interiors is a luxury that isn’t afforded to many. That’s why traveling to the Big Apple during Open House New York weekend is a getaway that must be made at least once to truly experience the city’s buildings from the inside. More than 250 locations will be unlocked for public view across the five boroughs, most not even requiring a reservation. Now that’s a warm welcome!
Oct. 14-15, free–$5, ohny.org
Super Megafest Comic Con
Comic book lovers and Comic Con enthusiasts who didn’t get enough at the San Diego installment have countless second chances all over the country. The Super Megafest Comic Con is working its way up the circuit, though, and the early guest list boasts names including Edward James Olmos (known for his role in the Battlestar Galactica reboot) and Bai Ling (recognizable for her work in Wild Wild West and The Crow), bringing out everyone’s inner nerd. Wrestling, book signings and, of course, cosplay will give you an excuse to pull that latex costume out of your closet.
Oct. 21–22, $15–$100, supermegafest.com
Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement
Art almost always has a story to tell, one that is often up to the interpretation of the viewer, and in the case of a current exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts, it’s one of struggle and triumph. The Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement showcases a black artist collective that formed during the civil rights era of the ’60s and ’70s. Through paint, photograph, sculpture and installation, the pieces each speak to the social injustices of the time that unfortunately remain relevant today.
Through Oct. 22, $14, dia.org
International Church of Cannabis
Imagine a church that focuses on the beauty of art and community, then sprinkle in some positivity and a joint, and you have Denver’s International Church of Cannabis. The old renovated church is already appealing, with ivy vines crawling up the original brick construction, but once inside, the colors take over. The interior is an artistic explosion created by well-known Spanish street artist (and Life Is Beautiful 2017 participant) Okuda San Miguel, creating a trippy and almost overwhelming experience, and that’s without consuming the church’s sacrament—weed. The church is open to those over 21 Thursdays through Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m., but no consumption is allowed during those hours. For a truly uplifting experience, inquire at 303-800-5644.
Open now, free, elevationists.org