HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — Mars Wrigley Confectionery has awarded the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant to five institutions across the US in the areas of research and chocolate programming. Winners were acknowledged at the 15th Annual banquet dinner of the Heritage Chocolate Society held at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The Heritage Chocolate Society seeks to further the study of chocolate’s rich history and its impact on past and present culture in the Americas.
“This year we are awarding $50,000 in grant funds to five different research institutions for projects that will investigate and educate the public on the history of chocolate and its impact on American culture,” said Gail Broadright, director Mars Sponsorships. “2018 entries were exceptionally competitive and we feel strongly that these grant winners will lead groundbreaking research into discovering the influence of chocolate on global heritage and culture. We look forward to their outputs on chocolate’s role in global history.”
Mars Wrigley Confectionery and American Heritage Chocolate awarded grants for the following:
- Smithsonian Museum of American History: (Washington, DC) To Research the Business of Chocolate and present the findings from the research as daily programming for 2 months reaching at least 6,000 visitors.
- The University of Wisconsin: (La Crosse, WI) To educate K-8 students in 17 schools in rural Wisconsin and Minnesota on the concepts related to chocolate including history, science, economic, and the environmental issues.
- The New York Historical Society: (New York, NY) To Research, develop, and deliver 2 chocolate focused family programs incorporating history and recipes to teach about the American Revolution.
- The Betsy Ross House: (Philadelphia, PA) To Research the role chocolate played in the lives of four middle class women in 18th century Philadelphia – Betsy Ross, Mary Crathorne, Hannah Lithgow, and Phyllis, a freed slave.
- The Office of Historic Alexandria: (Alexandria, VA) To Research the importation, sale, use and consumption of chocolate by people in Alexandria, VA during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Last year’s grant winners—The New York Historical Society, Fort Ticonderoga and Jared Hardesty with The Old North Foundation (Please make sure you have correct names) —made presentations to their peers during the annual meeting highlighting how last year’s funds were used to meet institutional goals.
Mars plans to continue to award grants on an annual basis and the submission period for the 2019 awards begins in the summer of 2019 at www.AmericanHeritageChocolate.com. AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate is a line of artisanal chocolate products developed from ingredient lists from the 1750s. Developed by Mars Wrigley Confectionery, AMERICAN HERITAGE Chocolate helps illuminate the stories of our collective history – from chocolate’s Mesoamerican roots, dating back over 3500 years, to its place in the lives of European and Colonial American families, to its role in popular culture today. While its rich history provides context for this intriguing global narrative, it is chocolate’s future, and its story of connection, that brings people together, spanning cultures, time and place, that inspires the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant to push the boundaries of discovery.