To foster a relationship between Wash U students and the Clinton-Peabody community through creating and providing a safe haven and strong peer-based environment for all children living in Clinton-Peabody Public Housing in order to promote self-esteem and academic confidence.
In 1994, Washington University professor Bob Hansman volunteered to run a summer art program in the Clinton-Peabody community of St. Louis. He began by offering dry-erase boards to neighborhood kids for informal sidewalk sketch sessions, eventually building a large student base and turning an abandoned food pantry into a studio. Though all forms of artistic expression were encouraged, Bob specialized in teaching portraiture, which is how the name "City Faces" came to be.
City Faces has maintained a presence in Clinton-Peabody for over 20 years. Today, City Faces is a vibrant organization run by Washington University students in partnership with the St. Louis Housing Authority. We have moved beyond offering solely art lessons but have stayed true to Bob's commitment to community engagement by developing a network of supportive peers and caring adults. Thanks to our incredible student volunteers, we offer programming in Clinton-Peabody six days a week and are always striving to create the best programs possible.
The City Faces logo is a self-portrait by Jermaine Roberts, a young student in the original City Faces art program. Jermaine died of sickle cell disease in 1996, and we use his likeness as our logo to honor him.