City Faces; Bob Hansman

In 1994 Bob Hansman began City Faces for children in Clinton-Peabody Public Housing, then something of a hotbed of Bloods (and Crips) activity. In 1996 he opened a studio there, which has by now been populated by two generations of kids in the projects as well as hundreds of Washington University volunteers. In 2002 he adopted his son Jovan; the two of them have been the subject of national television and magazine coverage and the recipients of numerous awards. In 2017 Bob and Jovan illustrated a book of poems about immigration—Traveling the Blue Road: Poems of the Sea, which has won recognition from the National Associations of Teachers of English and Social Studies.

Bob Hansman is a child of the sixties. He got to meet Coretta Scott King and Julian Bond, and was sitting just yards from Bobby Kennedy when he announced his run for the presidency. He also got beat up (and his lawyer’s office got pipe-bombed) by the Ku Klux Klan. Years later he began teaching at both Washington University and the Clinton-Peabody housing projects. Those two threads have been weaving in and out ever since. In 2017 he published a book about Pruitt-Igoe. Locally, Bob has received a Rosa Parks Award and a Dred Scott Freedom Award from Dred and Harriet Scott’s great-great-granddaughter.