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In a unique collaboration with the Roald Dahl Literary Estate, “World of Chocolate” also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the British author’s book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” An international phenomenon in its own right, Dahl’s tale of a poor boy, a chocolatier and a fabulous chocolate factory has been translated into 72 languages, inspired two motion pictures, an opera, a London stage musical, and countless dreams of chocolate rivers, candy rooms and other confectionary marvels. Exhibits exploring Dahl’s creativity and role in chocolate industry are highlights, as are copies of early drafts of the Charlie manuscript, a vintage candy shop from Dahl’s boyhood era, and an interactive Wonka Inventing room. The Dahl Estate has designated the exhibit an official part of the 50th anniversary.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and by their willingness to share content that tells the story behind the story,” said Mariposa Executive Director Karla Hostetler. “The Wonka Factory offers a fun way in to looking at chocolate industry. From where to source cocoa beans to labor challenges, product design and safety issues, competition, marketing, and future business sustainability, the Wonka factory pretty much covers all the bases. Dahl knew a lot about the business of chocolate!”
“It has been wonderful helping the Mariposa to add a narrative dimension to its fantastic exhibition. The story of chocolate brilliantly encapsulates world cultures and trade, and hopefully my grandfather’s story adds another delicious component to bring it all to life!” said Luke Kelly, grandson of Roald Dahl and head of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate.
An exhibit for all ages, “World of Chocolate” also explores the multicultural history of chocolate, from its origins in ancient Mexico to its discovery by Europeans and expansion into an industry. It touches on where cacao is grown and how chocolate is made and also some of the more sobering facts about chocolate. These include the role that Caribbean sugar and slavery played to recent revelations of modern-day child slavery on cocoa farms and sugar plantations. The exhibit also highlights innovative ways some chocolate makers are working with cacao growers and addressing these issues.
“We provide a glimpse into how global industry works and how something as familiar as a chocolate bar can connect people the world over,” Hostetler said. “We’re taking our cue from Roald Dahl, keeping it light and fun but not shying away from the darker issues. There are still Charlie Buckets in the world and no shortage of greedy characters. Fortunately there are also a few Willy Wonkas. This exhibit celebrates the importance of imagination -- in candy-making, storytelling, business, and solving the world’s challenges.”
Admission to the Museum is Adult $6; Senior $5; Child $4; Members free. The Mariposa is wheelchair accessible.
Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The program provides families an opportunity to enjoy their nation’s cultural heritage. The complete list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.
The Mariposa is wheelchair accessible.
See the Events Calendar for all entries and latest information.
When children are raised with respect and curiosity towards
other cultures, the world will know more peace and less war.
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