325 South Clara Avenue
DeLand, FL 32721
(386) 736-4004

Dr. Noble “Thin Man” Watts Amphitheater

The Amphitheater was added to the grounds of the African American Museum of Arts on Saturday, October 4, 2003, in addition to the existing museum building. 

It originally stood without the mural. Moses Sun, a well-known artist from Seattle, Washington, painted the theater as part of its stunning refurbishment. It was completed in 2022, with funding from Stetson’s Sara George Fund and support from Stetson University’s Creative Arts Department.  Professors Luca Molnar and Chad Underriner were also involved, along with students and others from the community who helped fill in Mr. Sun’s design. Mr Sun plays homage to Watts, a DeLand native who achieved international fame as a jazz trombonist–a silhouette of Watts playing is part of the abstract design that celebrates joy in art, and especially Black Joy in music.

There have been several programs hosted at the theater over the years. One of the first major events being the Dr. Noble “Thin Man” Watts Annual Jazz Festival that began on May 29, 2004. This ceremony was held at the Irene D. Johnson & Reverend Maxwell Johnson Cultural Park to honor and name the amphitheater on behalf of Legendary Saxophonist and Band Leader Noble “Thin Man” Watts. 

Since then, there have been several other events  held at the theater including:

  • Annual Juneteenth Celebration
  • Umoja (Unity) Kwanzaa Celebration
  • Florida Emancipation Day Celebration
  • Frederick Douglass Reenactments
  • Women’s History Month Celebration
  • Byllye Avery, Public Health Activist, Lecture 
  • Children’s Summer Camp Programming
  • Echo Rangers Youth Educational Program
  • Michel Delgado Artist Talk
  • Veterans’ Day Ceremonies
  • Black History Speakers
  • African Dance Classes
  • Fashion Shows
  • Graduation Ceremonies 
  • Church Events 
  • Paint Parties
  • Weddings
  • Art Shows
  • Lectures
  • Concerts

This space is available for events and concerts. Please contact us for booking information.

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