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Director's Report August, 2003
Fundraising Campaign Update:Work continues with the regional campaign teams. The newest team to get organized is the Yellowstone Country team who will focus on the Bozeman/Big Sky area. The Custer/Missouri River Country and the Russell Country teams are soliciting prospects and securing pledges. A cultivation event is planned for Billings at the Yellowstone Art Museum on Thursday, October 2nd. This event will coincide with the Museum’s “Lewis & Clark’s West” exhibit that features Bodmer, Moran, Bierstadt and Russell among other artists. Through the efforts of the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance, revised project lists for Indian projects will be compiled in the near future. With these revised lists appropriate funding applications can be prepared and submitted.
- Publicity Update:
- I worked to arrange meetings for an Oregonian reporter for his trip through Montana the week of August 11th. He traveled from the Northeastern portion of Montana, through Great Falls and Helena en-route to Missoula. At this point in time I’m not aware of the run date for his article(s).
- On August 19th I was interviewed by KXLO radio in Lewistown, MT. This was some advance publicity for Montana’s 5th annual Lewis & Clark Conference to be held in Lewistown on October 2-3, 2003.
- I am continuing to work with Tom Cook from the Montana Historical Society to draft an implementation outline for the state Commission’s expanded PR/Publicity program. The details of this new plan will be discussed at the Commission’s October meeting.
- During August I again communicated with Carol McBryant, the Logistics Coordinator for the National Park Service’s Corps II program. The host locations (18) have now been set for Montana. A letter from Gerard Baker will very shortly be sent to those selected locations to acknowledge their selection. Carol will be at the Fall Conference and will meet with those host communities to discuss what will be expected in 2005 and 2006. Patricia Jones may also be in attendance in Lewistown to discuss programming for the Tent of Many Voices. An update on Corps II will also be given to all conference attendees.
- Additional planning for the Lewistown conference was a primary focus for Rita and me during August. The roster of speakers has been finalized and the registration mailers were sent out on the 20th. If you haven’t received a registration and agenda, please contact the state Commission office or access the information on the Commission’s web site (www.montanalewisandclark.org). Some key meetings will be held in conjunction with the conference. The state Commission will meet the afternoon of October 1st and the morning of October 2nd; the Regional Commissions and Tribal Bicentennial Contacts will meet Wednesday evening; Carol McBryant will meet with the Corps II host communities on Thursday morning; Amy Mossett will meet with the MTTA and COTA reps also on Thursday morning. The conference opens with a traditional Indian meal at 12:15 p.m.
- I had previously reported that the Office of Public Instruction re-committed to being involved more with the Bicentennial. In July they approached me about streaming the Lewis & Clark: Montana’s Story 22-minute video onto their web site for access by teachers throughout the state. They are now working on that project.
- On August 7th I met with Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, the Director of Education Projects for The Watercourse at MSU, about the reprinting of the Lewis & Clark Educator’s Resource Guide. This guide will be printed within the next month (by Qwest), and then distributed to school and public libraries free of charge. The guides will be available for a small fee to other interested parties, and available electronically to everyone via the Internet.
- During August Rita and I continued to work on the implementation of two NPS Challenge Cost Share Grants. One grant (for $10,000) will facilitate the installation of Gateway Interpretive Signs in 13 rest areas; the second grant (of $20,000) will allow for corridor sign planning and new signs in five regional commission corridors.
- In mid-August a memo was drafted and sent to the Grants Committee for their review and comment. This is an effort to get feedback from the current 2003 grants program, and to build toward an even better grant program in 2004. Persons with comments (good or bad) about the present grant programs are encouraged to share those thoughts with the state Commission ASAP. The revised grant guidelines will be drafted in September, and presented for approval at the Commission’s October 1-2 meeting.
- On August 15th I traveled to Missoula to see the American Rivers Exhibit presently on display at the Southgate Mall -- a display very much worth seeing. A traveling exhibit on loan from the Montana Historical Society was also on display. From Missoula I traveled to Salmon, Idaho to participate in the grand opening of the Sacajawea (this spelling is with a “j”) Interpretive Center. The center is very nicely done and is located on the South edge of town overlooking a large meadow. An outdoor amphitheater has been built adjacent to the center overlooking the meadow. A reenactment of Lewis meeting the Shoshone Indians highlighted the day’s activities. This center, along with the new Confluence Center located at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers on the Montana/North Dakota border, are great entrance locations for visitors coming into Montana (the Confluence Center opened in late August).
- I traveled to Billings on the 19th and 20th to meet with the Yellowstone County Bicentennial Commission and the Bicentennial planning committee of the Montana Sheriff’s & Peace Officers’ Association (MSPOA). The Yellowstone County Commission is well organized and has successfully undertaken numerous projects, including putting some great interpretive signs at the Billings Logan International Airport, and hosting a series of events the last week of July for their new “Clark Signature Days.” An announcement is pending regarding that commission entering into a contract for the coordination of the Clark on The Yellowstone Signature Event. MSPOA has recently been guaranteed some funding from the BLM, which the group agreed should be shared by the 10-11 counties along the Missouri River from Sidney to Fort Benton and Great Falls. I also stopped in Columbus en-route back to Helena to tour the Itch-Kep-Pe city park where a canoe display and interpretive signing will be installed in 2004 by the Stillwater County Bicentennial Commission.
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