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National Endowment for the Arts Announces Grant to Chops’ Pan Outreach Program

The National Endowment for the Arts recently announced that Chops’ Pan Outreach program will receive a $25,000 grant. This funding from the prestigious NEA program will support steel-drum residencies at K-12 public schools in 2024. 

“We’re energized by this second grant, and by the year-over-year increase in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Chops’ executive director Megan O’Leary. “Jeremy Kunkel and the Pan Outreach team have created a program that meets the NEA’s rigorous standards for music education. We are thankful to the NEA for supporting music education for students and educators who might not otherwise have access to artist-in-residence programs.”

Pan Outreach, an artist-in-residence program founded at Chops in 2018, partners with host schools to bring steel-pan instruction to schools for 6 - 8 week residencies throughout the academic year. The program is free for low-income public schools.

“The Pan Outreach staff and I are so very humbled and grateful that this program has been recognized as worthy of NEA funding for a second year in a row,” said Pan Outreach Director Jeremy Kunkel. “This grant award would not have been possible without the tireless work of some incredible people over the last ten years, to all of whom I extend my deepest gratitude.”

National Endowment for the Arts Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, said that the NEA is delighted to announce this grant to Chops. ”Chops, Inc. is helping contribute to the strength and well-being of the arts sector and local community through its Pan Outreach program,” said Rosario Jackson. “We are pleased to be able to support this community and help create an environment where all people have the opportunity to live artful lives.”

The mission of Pan Outreach is to provide world music educational opportunities and artist development through steel pan instruction and performance. Interested in learning, hosting, donating, or volunteering? Visit to get involved in this exciting program.


Chops, Inc. is a nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a mission to improve lives through music education and performing arts. We meet our mission with professional bands and artist-in-residence programs, and by offering fiscal sponsorship and technical support to community-based performing arts groups like All City Music. To learn more and get involved, please visit


Chops' Pan Outreach program is funded in part by a grant from the NEA.


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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