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Director's Report April, 2003
Fundraising Campaign Update:Positive progress was made during the month with a total of $75,000 in pledges being secured from the Boards of the Campaign partners and Statewide Leadership Steering Committee. Northwest Airlines also donated $1,000 in credit vouchers as a campaign donation. Regional fundraising teams also came together with much enthusiasm in the Billings and Eastern Montana region, and in the Great Falls area. Also of note was the Montana History Foundation’s hiring of H.D.“Howie” Odden as their new Executive Director. Howie replaces Jay Russell who accepted a career opportunity in Great Falls (the Montana History Foundation is the fiscal agent for the Legacy Campaign). The Campaign is nearing the end of one phase and entering another as the contract with Bentz Associates comes to an end as of April 30, 2003. Work will continue in full force, with an increased emphasis on follow-up contacts of potential individual donors, foundation grant application submittals, and corporation sponsorship solicitation. Additional Campaign staff may be added in the absence of the Bentz team participation. And, work is nearing completion for having the Legacy Campaign brochure and updates available electronically on the state Commission’s web site.
- Publicity Update:
- On April 4th I was interviewed by the Billings Gazette to provide a Legacy Campaign update and related information on the grants recently awarded by both the state Commission and the National Park Service.
- On the 23rd I participated with Tom Cook, public information officer with the Montana Historical Society, in an hour-long “Coffee Break” talk show on Helena’s KBLL radio station.
- A Lewis & Clark pony was presented to the State of Montana in the Capitol on April 1st. Hand carved in wood by the carousel folks in Missoula specifically for a gift to Governor Martz, the pony is representative of the Shoshone Indian horses given and traded to the Lewis & Clark Expedition on their westward trek through Montana in 1805. The pony will be on display on the third floor of the Capitol until early September, and then be moved to the Montana Historical Society for safe keeping and/or display.
- On April 4th I traveled to Butte to present a Bicentennial Update to the annual State Trails Conference.
- The Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI) and the state Commission was successful in securing a National Park Service Challenge Cost Share grant for $20,000 in 2003 for the further implementation of the Interpretive Sign Strategy. Five regional bicentennial commissions also were partners in this grant application (the NE Plains, SW Montana, Western Montana, and Missouri Breaks regional commissions, and the Crimson Bluffs Chapter). Work was initiated this month to bring those five entities together to create a work plan to maximize this new funding opportunity. Corridor signing strategies will be a major focus.
NOTE: The Montana Department of Transportation very recently gave their approval for new Lewis & Clark Directional Markers to be designed and installed to identify interpretive signs (on or immediately adjacent to Montana highways) with a Lewis & Clark focus. Thanks MDT! More information is anticipated very soon.
- The 8th Annual National Meeting of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial was held in Great Falls from April 13-16, 2003. Thanks to the team of the Upper Missouri Bicentennial Commission, Peggy Bourne, Jane Weber and many friends of Lewis & Clark, the conference was rated a great success by the 275 attendees.
Sunday, April 13th
- The Circle of Tribal Advisors (COTA) met. Currently of the almost tribal 30 members trail wide, six Montana tribes are members of this critical advisory circle.
- Montana’s Confluence of Cultures planning committee also met this Sunday afternoon in preparation of the upcoming May 28-30 symposium.
- A Jeffersonian dinner with entertainment capped of the day.
Monday, April 14th
- In addition to having three education tracks in the conference running concurrently, the National Park Service held breakout meetings with each state to discuss potential host location sites and logistics of the Corps II traveling interpretive park.
- One key education session was focused on the Corps II experience. Now that the National Park Service has initiated their tour, certain operational ramifications and expectations are becoming distinct. A listing of these findings will be shared with the chosen Montana host location sites.
- A reception with true expedition fare was held at the Charles M. Russell Museum this evening.
Tuesday, April 15th
- The Circle of State Advisors (COSA) met concurrently with another full day of educational sessions in the conference agenda. Some of the COSA discussion items included:
Wednesday, April 16th –
- COSA agreed to create posters of the new Trail States Banner image, an image that shows the Trail from coast to coast with the 15 National Signature Events listed. These posters will be available shortly from the state Commission office.
- An update was given on a significant Education Initiative to be coordinated by the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles group.
NOTE: I have been in contact with the Office of Public Instruction in an effort to disseminate this Initiative information to teachers statewide in Montana.
- The National Council presented an update (a special thanks to my good friend David Nicandri from Washington State for sharing his copious notes with me!)
- The Council was very recently successful in securing a $2M dollar grant from the Hewlett Foundation, payable over 4 years:
- $500,000 for Tribal Awareness and Corps II programming
- $100,000 for Trail Stewardship Awareness
- $510,000 for tribal participation in signature events
- $265,000 for the development and upkeep of a web portal to be highlighted in the upcoming national awareness campaign
- $85,000 for a new national brochure (to primarily highlight the 15 national signature events) to be distributed starting this summer
- $150,000 in support of the remaining 14 signature events
- $390,000 for administrative support for the National Council
- The Council also received $30,000 in a Challenge Cost Share grant in 2003
- The National Ad Council’s Lewis & Clark’s Awareness Campaign is now being designed with a projected ‘start date’ of September, 2003.
- The US Mint’s bicentennial commemorative coin will be un-veiled in St. Louis in May, 2004. Sales could reach $5M for the 500,000 coins. Proceeds to be split between the National Park Service and the National Bicentennial Council.
- The Council’s merchandising program has been re-started. The Council is licensing the use of its logo only and not endorsing or trade marketing other product lines.
- The Council is creating an inventory of ephemeral literature that promotes trail segments or bicentennial events in an effort to fulfill requests coming from around the country.
- The new NPS Trail Map has been completed. A three carton limit can be ordered from Laurie Heupel at email@example.com
- President Bush’s Interior budget request has carried forward a $5M request for the NPS’s Challenge Cost Share grant program for next fiscal year.
- The day was highlighted by a reception at the Great Falls Interpretive Center. Members of the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA) co-sponsored the evening’s activities, and provided numerous educational “nodes” throughout the evening.
- Three concurrent educational tracks were offered in addition to a meeting of the National Council (see above notes re: Council Update)
- The conference concluded with an evening banquet and musical performance by Montana’s Rob Quist and Jack Gladstone
- On Friday, April 18th I was again in Great Falls to present to a Public Safety Stakeholders meeting. There was a considerable amount of interest in having Public Safety as a main topic at Montana’s 5th Annual Lewis & Clark Conference to be held in Lewistown on October 2-3, 2003.
- As this current fiscal year winds down, Rita and I have been closely monitoring the current budget in hopes of having the funds necessary by the end of May to fully fund the remaining $47,000 in Project Grants approved by the state Commission during its February meeting. We have also been working on a proposed FY’04 budget for review at the Commission’s May 27-28 meeting.
- As earlier reported, the Montana Commission will join the Idaho Bicentennial Committee to co-fund the creation and installation of a memorial plaque for Stephen Ambrose. This bronze BAS-relief plaque will be on or immediately adjacent to the new Lolo Visitor Center. A June 27th dedication date has been sent. Stephenie Ambrose-Tubbs and her mother are planning to attend. Hal Stearns will offer comments as a representative of the Montana Commission.
- On April 24 I had three interesting meetings:
- In mid-morning I spoke to a gathering of the state’s Regional Tourism Associations and CVB’s to discuss a possible cooperative effort in Bicentennial brochure design and distribution. Many groups are now creating brochures; some coordination might be beneficial.
- In the late morning I made a presentation to the Board of the Montana Historical Society.
- That evening I joined members of the local Gates of the Mountains Chapter for a dinner with Dr. Dave Peck, the author of “Or Perish in the Attempt.” Dr. Peck has strong ties to Montana and would be very interested in presenting in various venues around the state.
- Following the annual Lewis & Clark conference in Great Falls I’ve had several conversations re: assisting in finding funding for the further completion of the CarTours audio driving tours for Montana. Possibly the state Commission could join the inter-agency MTIR group in funding this effort? If totally completed there could be 5 volumes for Montana; ½ of the total of the volumes for the entire Trail.
- On March 29th I again had three meetings:
- Mid-morning I made a presentation to the Montana Economic Development Association (MEDA) annual meeting. MEDA is proposed to be the fund distribution entity if Congress appropriates the requested $1M for our state Commission’s re-grant program.
- At 1:30 I met with Betsy Baumgart and Sarah Lawlor with Travel Montana to discuss overall Lewis & Clark marketing strategies. Future discussions are planned to tie in Montana’s two Signature Events.
- At 4:00 I met with Scott Bell and Sheila Walker with the USFS out of Utah re: some funds that they may have available this year for Lewis & Clark projects in Montana. More will be reported on this option in the state Commission’s May meeting in Missoula.
- Late this month I communicated with Carol McBryant re: Corps II host locations in Montana. Carol and the NPS staff with the Corps II project have committed to having the 2005 and 2006 host locations chosen by the end of May.
- 2003 State Legislative Re-cap:
- The state Commission’s base funding was secured with “Legislative Language” in HB-2. Thanks to Travel Montana and the Tourism Advisory Council for this on-going annual bed-tax funding!!
- SB-118 passed. This legislation will eventually limit the number of specialty plates designed and sold in Montana, as well as allow use of specialty plates on trucks and RV’s.
- SB-195 passed. This will allow for a piece of bronze BAS-relief art to be designed, created and placed in the Montana Senate chambers. A committee of previous Montana Senators is currently being established, as are some preliminary plans for artist selection.
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