On 21st street, in Sacramento, there lives an organization at Sol Collective called Foreign Native. Foreign Native is an organization who uses creative expression and poetic arts to engage youth from different backgrounds be successful in their journeys through the world by providing them with educational achievement and leadership skills.

In 2012, the idea of Foreign Native was sparked inside of the mind of Andre F. Tillman Jr, also known as Dre-T. There was a lot of ideas surrounding this idea of Foreign Native, the big idea was that he wanted Foreign Native to be a community, have its own schools, be in control of producing their own food, have ownership over the things they produce as artists, and be in complete self-sufficiency.

Foreign Native

Foreign Native

For now, Dre-T focuses on the creative expression among the youth. He focuses on creative expression because throughout his experiences of being a performing artist, and he has participated in several events at an international level. As an artist to have your work criticized that early in your career can either make or break you. Seeing that barrier, Foreign Native provides a supportive environment where one can come there and ” speak your truth”.  Foreign Native does this by hosting an open mic every Sunday night at Sol Collective.The open mic is called Penny For Your Thoughts. It starts at 7:00pm and ends at 9:00pm. One signs up to perform and then once everyone is done performing the artists go up on the stage. Then the audience goes in their pocket and get their common sense and trades it for common sense. So, every artists makes a little change no matter how good they are.  Also,  Foreign Native makes their own shirts, it goes along with creative expression because with the youth who make the shirts, every shirt won’t be the same. Every person who makes one puts their own style into it.

“Foreign Native is not mine, it’s the communities, I just diagnosed it,” says Dre-t, founder and coordinator of Foreign Native. “Like with Penny For Your Thoughts, we are building an investment because with pennies there are some made of zinc and some made of copper, so it much more than its face value because when we look at the penny we just see one but in actually, it could worth way more.”

Foreign Native is an organization that supports everyone creative expression, no matter what it may be. It doesn’t leave anyone out, if certain things are happening. Those who would like more  information can visit their page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Foreign-Native/589850324379475

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