The University of Southern Maine and a Portland education group will receive $1.9 million from the federal government for arts education in Portland schools.

The university announced last week that Youth in Action: Side x Side and the school will receive the grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination grant will be used to develop a four-year arts education program entitled “Project IMAGINE.”

The program will take place in four of Portland’s public schools. The schools serve a total of 1,700 students.

Rep. Chellie Pingree says the money will help develop “new ways to integrate the arts seamlessly into the school day.”