Newark, New Jersey Mayor Ras J. Baraka believes he’s found a way to reach the youth.

He’s developed a new program that utilizes the performing arts to help educate his city’s younger population.

“To change the city, we need to mobilize our youth and the power of culture to enhance life,” Mayor Baraka says during an interview with AllHipHop. “This program will connect our young artists with the skills they need to become successful in their fields of interest and in life. They will be mentored by Newark natives who have distinguished themselves as artists.”

Acting, photography and music are the classes that have been announced as part of the program, thus far.

Hip Hop artist and Newark resident Rah Digga has been tapped to teach the music program, alongside singer-songwriter-producer Peter Hadar.

Digga and Hadar will reportedly cover courses such as the history of Hip Hop, intro. to the music industry, recording processes and building images and brands. A portion of the class will take place in classrooms, while other segments will be taught in a recording studio.

Other Newark natives, including actor JD Williams and veteran photographer Brett Melius, BFA, have been assigned to courses that are relevant to their professions.

Mayor Baracka hopes that this new initiative will have a lasting impact on the future of the city.

“When the young men and women complete this program, they will be the generation of artists that transforms Newark’s culture – and that of America – into the City and nation we can all believe in. As a long-time Newark educator, I am both proud and excited by this program.”

The Performing Arts Program is being offered by The Newark Youth One Stop Career Training Center. Newark residents ages 17 – 21 are eligible to participate.