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Tanya Watts

Director of Neighborhood Affairs | PHXJAX Arts & Innovation District

Tanya Watts is a planner, jewelry artist and visionary. She describes herself as an “organized creative that is very right and left-brained.” She loves bringing new life to people, places, and things. Tanya grew up in Neptune Beach, Florida just outside of Jacksonville. She attended Fletcher High school and graduated from the University of North Florida, both located in Jacksonville. Education and arts have always been an important part of her life. Directly out of college in 1993, she opened Noticeable Nails and later Ijaba Salon & Spa, both successful ventures in the beauty services industry in Jacksonville, along with Momma’s Jive Jewelry. She is the former owner of Pickett & Watts Gallery that was located on Main Street in the Springfield area. Tanya is an executive member of the Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation (JCDC), an organization founded in 2004 to foster an environment for Artists of the African Diaspora to grow and flourish. 

In 2005 her focus shifted to people. She took her planning and organizational skills to the Duval County Public School System, where she dedicated her entire time to working with pregnant and parenting teenage students across the district. She was passionate about working with this underserved and often overlooked population of students. She worked with the Teen Parent Service Center of Duval County Public Schools for 16 years. While there she received her master’s degree in educational leadership. 

In 2020 she returned to her roots in entrepreneurship and created Momma’s Jive LLC, offering organizational and creative solutions. She is currently consulting for the Historic Eastside Cultural Development Corporation (HECDC) and Surfear Negra, a non-profit dedicated to introducing and supporting girls of color in the sport of surfing. Tanya is ecstatic to be a part of the creative and engaging work being done by Future of Cities in the Springfield area, of which she has been a resident for the past 22 years!