Mars Chocolate North America has announced the winners of the 2016 Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research and Investigative Studies Grant.
Recipients of the award include We Make History, The Betsy Ross House and Genesee Country Village & Museum. The winners were named at the 13th annual banquet dinner of the Colonial Chocolate Society at Ellis Island, in New York.
“Chocolate history is an important part of who we are at Mars,” says Gail Broadright, director of Mars sponsorships. “Each year we have the incredible opportunity of furthering the discovery and interpretation of chocolate’s unique role in our collective heritage. Our grant winners represent some of the innovators in this space, and we are thrilled to support their work, bringing chocolate history and the history of the Americas into the lives of their visitors.”
We Make History’s grant will go toward research and development, as well as expansion of its display and educational programs relating to chocolate in American history. The educational programs will be available to 20,000 school students and 50,000 members of the general public in Arizona.
The Betsy Ross House will use the grant to research 18th century mills that were used to process chocolate. The research is expected to shed light on how chocolate played a part in the lives of free and enslaved African-Americans in the 18th century.
Genesee Country Village & Museum will research the ways in which chocolate was used in 19th century food preparation.
Last year’s grant winners were The Fort Ticonderoga Association, Friends of Fort Ontario and Old North Church Foundation of Boston, Inc. The three groups made presentations during the annual meeting to highlight how the grants were used to meet institutional goals.
Mars will continue to award the annual grants, and the 2017 submission period begins next summer on American Heritage Chocolate’s website. American Heritage Chocolate, developed by Mars Chocolate North America in 2006, is a line of products created with ingredients available in the 18th century. American Heritage Chocolate takes chocolate’s past and brings it to life through chocolate history demonstrations, chocolate drink sampling and authentic retail products.