In early 2020, we were well underway planning our first Texas CASA concert experience that would bring together 100+ people to hear local artists and discover how they can make a difference for children and families in the community. Then COVID-19 happened. The concert plan fell apart but from that came the Imagination Report – an original, collaborative piece between Riders Against the Storm, Ebony Stewart and Jonathan Horstmann.
The song is meant to inspire and show the difference one person can make in a child’s life, especially when that person is from the same community as the child and can connect with them.
my imagination report
This is why
all i need is a door
- Policy advocacy at the legislature and updates to the network to keep CASA at the forefront
- A space for facilitated conversations with the CASA community, CPS, and foster care providers to brainstorm and problem solve the capacity issue
- Funding for family finding searches to find possible placements
- Youth engagement tools (virtual and in-person)
- Support of family and fictive kin through gas cards, childcare cost vouchers, and other essential resources
"So I’m reading an imagination report of what
kids wanna be when they grow up
I’m reading this because I remember
I wanted to be everything, but maybe
that’s just my adult regret remembering
what I wish I would’ve made time for
as I continue to make time
for things that don’t deserve me"
Meet the Team
Riders Against the Storm (RAS), a husband and wife duo based in Austin, Texas, are the very essence of the cultural phenomenon known as hip hop. Understanding that art and performance are keys to transforming the individual spirit, they have built institutions that aid in this mission, including Body Rock ATX, now running 10 years strong, and RAS Day music festival, a standout of the ATX live music scene for 6 years. Within their music, and central to their purpose as creators, is an upholding of the culture's spiritual integrity, and a contagious celebration of the magic of creating something from ‘nothing.’
Ebony Stewart is an international touring poet and performance artist. Her work speaks to the black experience, with emphasis on gender, sexuality, womanhood, and race, with the hopes to be relatable, remove shame, heal minds, encourage dialogue, and inspire folks in marginalized communities.
As one of the most decorated poets in Texas, Ebony is a respected coach & mentor, one of the top touring poets in the country, and a Woman of the World Poetry Slam Champion.
This project was a collaborative effort produced by Texas CASA staff and leadership.
Jonathan Horstmann, Multimedia Developer
Kara Hobbs, Chief Social Impact Officer
Andrea Escalante, Community Engagement Specialist
Caitlyn Perdue, Communications Manager
The music video project began when Stewart was inspired to pen her poem entitled the Imagination Report after reading a similarly named report produced in 2017 by Fatherly and New York Life. The report was commissioned to answer the question “What do kids want to be when they grow up?” and surveyed more than 1,200 children. Award-winning hip hop artists Riders Against the Storm (RAS) were moved to put Stewart’s words to music and later the words and music were brought to life in an animated video produced by animator Joseph Howard, Jonathan Horstmann and Texas CASA. With the music video’s release, its creators aim to raise awareness of the impact a CASA volunteer can have on a child’s life and to encourage volunteer sign-ups and monetary donations from the community during this season of giving.