These one-of-a-kind custom painted skate decks made to support of our current exhibition, RESPECT: Hip Hop Style & Wisdom are a unique collaboration that equally supports the local artists that created them, the Oakland Museum of California, and the Oakland Parks Foundation that works with local art/activist Keith “K-DUB” Williams to build and provide safe skate environments for Oakland’s youth.
Keith Williams (better known as K-Dub) is a visual artist, educator, mentor, youth arts and sports activist, and community volunteer. For well over a decade, K-Dub has been inspiring and investing in Bay Area youth so that they become actively engaged in building themselves and their communities. K-Dub has created and personally financed a movement that fuses visual arts, music, skateboarding, social activism, and community development.
From 2000 to 2008, K-Dub was the co-director of the Oakland High School Visual Art Academy, and worked with students from more than 40 California schools, neighborhoods and art centers to create community murals. Through art, K-Dub aims to inspire an individual sense of self, sense of purpose, and appreciation for ownership and positive change in the community.
In 2005, K-Dub created the first Neighborhood Games (Hood Games) at the East Oakland Youth Development Center. The event was an amazing blend of grassroots movements celebrating skateboarding, dance, music, and mural arts. K-Dub has since produced over 50 Hood Games events in inner-city communities, parking lots, and skateparks around Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Las Vegas, with thousands of youth participating over the years. K-Dub has produced many Hood Games-themed art exhibitions in museums, public art spaces, and film festivals in Oakland, Napa, and American Canyon.
In 2007, K-Dub launched a movement to build a world-class skatepark in Oakland. He petitioned the City to take over an unused portion of historical DeFremery Park in West Oakland and mobilized community volunteers to build a wood skatepark with donated materials. Town Park became a gathering space and ongoing project for local youth that would volunteer their time and effort to expand and maintain the park. In 2014, K-Dub founded For the Town Skateboarding, a non-profit under the fiscal sponsorship of the Oakland Parks Foundation.
K-Dub worked tirelessly to mobilize resources to realize his vision of creating Oakland’s first permanent concrete skatepark. K-Dub’s local efforts caught the attention of Levi Strauss Skateboarding division, which provided a generous donation toward the construction of the park. After many meetings with Oakland Parks and Recreation and the City Council, K-Dub was able to get the City of Oakland to greenlight the project. In 2015, a world-class, permanent concrete Town Park was opened to an amazing crowd with hundreds of local youth and community members. It has since been the site of many community events and remains a beacon for Bay Area skaters and local youth.