County officials wanted to educate youth about dating and domestic violence but they didn’t want to bore them with a Powerpoint presentation. So they brought in pop and hip-hop music.

The Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission held a domestic violence awareness meeting for youth and for the first time allowed young performers to put on rap, hip hop and pop music performances, said Carlotta Wade, park and planning recreation specialist. After the performances domestic violence educators talked to the youth about safety and awareness when dating, Wade said.

“They responded well,” Wade said. “A lot of them didn’t have information about where to go for people in abusive relationships.”

Wade said about 175 people attended the event, which took place Feb 22 at Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville. Park and planning hopes to hold the event each year due to this year’s success.