Every Sunday at Sol Collective from 7 – 9:30pm, Foreign Native, an organization who uses creative expression and poetic arts to engage youth from different backgrounds, hosts an open mic called Penny For Your Thoughts. Foreign Native helps young people become successful in their journeys through the world by providing them with educational achievement and leadership skills.fn

Penny For Your Thoughts was created by the coordinator of Foreign Native, Andreas Tillman Jr., also known as Dre-T. He focuses on creative expression utilizing his experiences of being a performing artist. He has also participated in several events at an international level. Sometimes, an artist’s work is criticized early in their career, and that can either make or break them. Seeing that barrier, Foreign Native provides a supportive environment where one can come and ”speak their truth”.

To do this, one signs up to perform and then once everyone is done salperforming, all the artists go up on the stage. Then the audience reaches into their pockets and pulls out their common “cents” and trades it for another’s common “cents”. Every artist makes a little change no matter how good they are. Afterwards, all of the “cents” the collective have obtained during Penny For Your Thoughts belongs to the entire group and can be used by an artists when it is needed. When he looks around, Dre-T sees a lot of things around the world trying to take from artists. His motto for Penny For Your Thoughts is instead of taking from, we should give back to the artists.

“A unique thing about this open mic is that we pay homage to the performers at this venue,” says Dre-T. “And what we do at the end of the night (is) we trade our spare change, spare cash for pennies, (and) as the host, I bring up all the artists.”

Anyone who would like to know more about the events that Foreign Native hosts, please visit, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Foreign-Native/589850324379475?ref=bookmark

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