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Black Eyed Peas Launching Music Academy in New York City

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Though their Peapod Foundation charity, the Black Eyed Peas have established music academies in their home state of California that empower young people.

Now, they're taking that model across the country and opening their first such academy in New York City.

The Peapod Youth Voices Academy will make leading technologies for art, dance, music and video production available to under-served youth, to encourage self-expression, creativity and digital literacy.  The school will open in July, with programs for kids aged 13-19.

In a statement, said, "Our passion for music and media was fueled by many generous people on our road to success.  Expanding the network of...academies enables us to pay it forward, giving more youth the skills and encouragement they need to realize their dreams."

In announcing plans for the academy, Fergie told a group of kids, "We are here to be that support that I had from my mother.  I want to be the support for whatever dreams you have and give you the strength to say, look, you can achieve whatever you want to achieve."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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