John T Crisp Jr / Charles E. Scott


For over 50 years , John T Crisp Jr  has been known on the East Side and throughout central Illinois as a freelance artist , art teacher and musician , and for his work with youth in the education field. In the mid sixties he along with a group of young community activist created a community monthly newspaper called
“ The Spirit of  Black Springfield”


Charles E Scott has followed a career path were he engaged in the service of others as a Facilitator , Activist , Program Developer and Administrator , Collaborator , Mentor , and Advocate, in pursuit of  his passion reaching out and serving  young African-American youth.  He served as editor of the community newspaper “The Spirit of  Black Springfield” for two years, which launched his involvement in dealing with issues impacting his community.

John T Crisp Jr.

In the past when people,  north, south , and west of 11th street wanted to interact with artist of color , they came to him. Crisp grew up on the East Side, and while growing into his teen years fell in love with music and art.

In the 60's he did Art layout design for a local black newspaper "The Spirit of Black Springfield". Though the years John performed with many recording artist, such as: Albert King,  Ike & Tina Turner, Fenton Robinson, Koko Taylor,  Big Time Sarah, Johnny Dollar, Eddie and the Chief Clearwater, Bobby King,  Lefy Dizz, Roland Clark, plus many more.

He later completed Art and Business courses at SIU, while living in Chicago he attended Malcolm X and Kennedy King College. When visiting with his sisters in Ohio, he took classes at Ohio State University, and later in Springfield studied at SSU and Lincoln Land Community College. He became skilled at graphic arts and commercial  illustration while working at a Ad agency in Springfield.

“ I studied numerous types of art forms because of my interest in teaching “.

John specialized in portrait art and the preservation of black history , jewelry designs, sculpture (wood and clay)  , drawings , paintings , illustrations, posters , greeting cards , and children’s  coloring books.

In the late 80’s , Crisp began working the city’s mainstream arts organizations . He helped renovate the Fifth Street home of the Prairie Art Alliance. Soon after the Springfield  Housing Authority and the Art Association signed a partnership agreement that brought him  to S.A.A as a summer arts-program teacher, where he stayed on as a instructor for the next 11 years.

He later served as President/Arts Director of the Harriet Tubman Susan B. Anthony Women’s Self Help Center , founded by activist sister Faith Logan for another insightful  11  years , throughout the Springfield and surrounding area. John agreed to joint his current  partner Charles Scott at the Springfield Boys and Girls Club (Central Unit) as Art Director , where he enhanced that site’s  art program. He has instructed  more than 50,000 students ,and considers himself a good instructor as well as a excellent artist.

Mr Crisp has produced (40) books , (20) Black History Coloring Books , called "A  Taste of Black History Activity  Books", coloring books with historical facts intended to educate  as well as engage the artistically inclined.  His 2-Motor Skill Dot Drawing books teach young people how to develop hand –eye motor skills early in the lifelong pursuit of artistic learning.

For the past 8 years he has worked with the Back to School Stay in School program for the Springfield Urban League/NAACP, where youth earn their high school diploma. He currently is co-founder of Garvey-Tubman Cultural Arts and Research Center , Inc, where his journey as a servant leader continues.



Charles E Scott

In the mid-sixties while editor of the community newspaper “ The Spirit of  Black Springfield” , he became engaged in issues related to “Police Community Relations “ , as it pertained to the black community. This involvement resulted in his joining the Springfield Police Department where he served for five years as a patrolman.

He was later offered a opportunity to expand on his interest in community police relations as Associate Director and later as Director of the Police Community Relations Department at the Illinois Commission on Human Relations, providing training to law enforcement agencies and community organizations.


In later years Charles served as a Case Manager with the Cincinnati Health Department assessing and supervising clients progress in the recovery process of drug and alcohol dependence. He worked in the field of residential treatment  as Residential Manager  with the Human Involvement Project a community based program for African-American adolescent boys in a group home setting.  While with Bob Hope House ,Inc  he supervised the implementation of program policies and procedures and related residential functions of the boys group home.


Scott continued his career path with the Springfield Urban League with the agency’s Summer Youth Employment program as Coordinator , Counselor of The JTPA program interviewing clients for potential job placement, and as Project Director of the Adolescent Responsibility Program. In his latter years he found himself engaged with the Gateway Foundation ,Inc  in the positions of Counselor and Milieu Supervisor in the field of residential substance and alcohol abuse treatment.  He moved on to hold  the positions of  TeenReach Coordinator , Program and Unit Director at the Springfield Boys and Girls Club, upgrading , implementing  and evaluation of programming.  His community involvement included : Community of learning, Promise Neighborhood , Faith Coalition for the Common Good ( Education Co-Chair) , High Expectation Outreach-Founder , and Garvey –Tubman Cultural Arts and Research Center , Inc (Co-Founder).  Conducted  After-School Programs for African- American Males at Washington Middle School (Dist 186) ,and  St Pats School. Served as Mentor and or Coordinator with the Safe Haven After-School Program (Dist 186 Weed and Seed) Mentor with Youth Service Bureau and the Foster Care System.