Bob Hansman received his BFA (Drawing and Painting, English Literature, Religious Studies) from the University of Kansas, a time that he points to for its fervent impact on his perspective and commitment to civic and community engagement. He highlights meeting Coretta Scott King, Julian Bond, and Bobby Kennedy and getting beaten up by members of the Ku Klux Klan as some critical moments in his path to this work.

An Associate Professor in the Washington University School of Architecture, Bob developed a course—Community Building, Building Community—that brings Washington University students together with residents of Hamilton Heights, Clinton-Peabody, Kinloch, the Ville, and other St. Louis neighborhoods to discover opportunities for shared personal and community involvement.

In 1994, Bob founded City Faces, a year-round art and mentorship program for kids living in the Clinton-Peabody public housing downtown. In 1996 he moved his studio into the projects, and in 2002 he adopted one of his first students, Jovan, who now directs the day-to-day operations of City Faces.

Bob has been a leader, a learner, a teacher, a partner, and an advocate for these and other communities in St. Louis for over 25 years. Bob has received numerous accolades for his profound commitment and impact on civic and community engagement in the St. Louis community. A few include:


Bob and the City Faces program were included in “Coming Up Taller,” a publication of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.


Missouri Arts Award


Washington University Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching Award


Washington University Founders Day Distinguished Faculty Award


Gephardt Institute Bob and Gerry Virgil Ethic of Service Award


Bob and Jovan were featured on Steve Hartman’s Assignment America, on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.


FOCUS St. Louis “What’s Right With The Region!” Award, received with Jovan.


Rosa L. Parks Memorial Award for Meritorious Service to the Community after delivering the Martin Luther King, Jr., address at Graham Chapel


Bob and Jovan were featured in the Christian Science Monitor.


One of the inaugural Dred Scott Freedom Awards, received from Lynne Jackson, Dred Scott’s great-great-granddaughter.