The Arts and Young People Initiative will try to find new sources of finance to improve school facilities and increase links between schools and arts organisations to encourage young talent.
Among themes which the department of national heritage will be examining are the scope for:
- promoting more - and more rewarding - involvement by young people in the arts;
- encouraging talented youngsters to develop their artistic ability to the full; and
- tapping new sources of finance, including business sponsorship and the national lottery, to encourage arts activity and improve facilities in schools for use by children and the wider community.
It follows on from the sports policy document Raising the Game, published earlier this year.
Mrs Bottomley said:
'I am convinced that fostering youngsters' early exposure to the arts can be of real value. It helps them develop as individuals. It teaches them lessons about creativity and working together which can have long-term benefits for society. And it benefits the arts in developing audiences for the future.