The funding was agreed following a series of focus group meetings with teachers, students and parents, as well as two reports commissioned by the Department of Culture and Sport.
The first, written by Baroness Kay Andrews, examined how cultural and heritage organisations can work closer together in order to help tackle poverty, while a second report, written by Arts Council of Wales chair Dai Smith, looked at the effect of arts in education.
Announcing the funding on behalf of the Arts Council of Wales, Mr Smith said he hoped the money would create a legacy for generations to come: “We know that there is a great body of evidence now that has been gathered over the past 20 to 30 years which demonstrates unequivocally that where you have schools which give time to cultural learning there is benefit both in that sphere and also to the other disciplines.
“By making art an integral part of the national curriculum in Wales, we can give the next generation of artists, designers, engineers, creators and cultural leaders the opportunity to develop the imagination and skills that are vital to our future, but we can also embed the principle of creative thought and response in all our children.”
The announcement came as schools in Wales were being encouraged to enlist students on creative writing workshops as part of the 100-year anniversary of the birth of poet Dylan Thomas. The workshops are part of a special programme of education events, run by Literature Wales and supported by the Welsh government, throughout 2014.
The one-hour sessions for key stages 2, 3 and 4 pupils are being run by a team of 32 trained writers including Dan Anthony, author of Rugby Zombies, Jemma L King, Dylan Thomas Prize shortlist nominee, and Cynan Jones, 2013 Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award shortlist nominee.
Devised by Canolfan Peniarth at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, the workshops reflect current curriculum requirements and are tailored to the relevant key stage.
More information is available on the Developing Dylan 100 website at www.developingdylan100.co.uk