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Director's Report December, 2003
Fundraising Campaign Update: As mentioned in last month’s report, the Legacy Campaign is progressing through a transition phase. Following the December 3rd meeting of the Coordinating Committee, the decision was made to reduce campaign operations expenses by relocating the campaign office into the existing state Commission office. Given the very limited space within the Commission office, most of the campaign office furniture is now being sold (please call Rita to purchase a desk for your den!). Also given the restructuring plans for the campaign, Mary Asbach resigned her position as Campaign Associate effective December 19th. The remaining on-going campaign management duties will be performed by Rita Cortright, Amy Baird and myself. Work will continue in an effort to solicit and secure funds at both the regional and state levels. To that end, a year-end “appeal letter” was created and sent to approximately 7,000 people in early December, and I have attended two meetings in Bozeman to ascertain the feasibility of launching a regional fundraising team in that area. A campaign Transition Plan and new Memorandum of Agreement amongst the Legacy Partners have been drafted and approved. Any questions regarding the campaign can be directed to 457-9080 or to the state Commission’s attention. The mailing address for the campaign will remain the same (P.O. Box 1390, Helena, MT 59624).
- Publicity Update:
- Plans moved forward this month on the state Commission’s new six-week Bicentennial Publicity Campaign projected to launch in March or April 2004. The main messages of this campaign will be to create Awareness & Excitement in Montana (believe it or not, but many people ask me either “When will the Bicentennial start?” or “What will we all be doing next year since the Bicentennial will be over after this year?” A professionally created PSA message will be produced and radio and TV media time purchased through the Montana Broadcasters Association.
- The National Council of the Bicentennial announced its revamped, consumer-oriented web site this month (www.lewisandclark200.org), and The Metropolitan Group conducted a trail-wide conference call in anticipation of the launch of the anticipated National Ad Council publicity campaign. These spots were to begin airing in mid-December (however I haven’t seen one as yet).
- In early December I visited with Gene Hickman, my local contact with the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard to explore possible community encampments to happen through the summer of 2005 along the trail in Montana. More discussions will be forthcoming, but I’m confident that thanks to the Honor Guard many, many individuals and groups will be both entertained and educated as the 200-year Commemoration crosses our state. Plans are also being considered for the 2006 time frame as well.
- On December 16th I was invited to offer a few words during a reception to pay tribute to Helena’s own artist, Bob Morgan. The event was sponsored be the Montana Grand Masonic Lodge. It was this lodge that was home to the Masonic Apron of Captain Lewis (which is presumed to have been carried by Lewis on the Expedition). The apron was very recently loaned to the Missouri Historical Society for their nationally recognized traveling exhibit, to be returned after 2006.
- Also during December I had numerous conversations with representatives of Montana’s Congressional Delegation re: options for Lewis & Clark-related Appropriation Requests in 2005. Without doubt we will partner with community-based groups to once again request congressional funding for key projects.
- On December 12th Rita, Hal Stearns and I met with Mark Sherouse, with the Montana Committee for the Humanities (MCH) to strategize how MCH might partner with the state Commission to present the June 17-18, 2004, “Talent Showcase.” No final commitments were made, but the state Commission will submit a grant application to the MCH. We also made preliminary contact with the Montana Arts Council for the same purpose. Our goal is to have the showcase be a forum whereby Lewis & Clark speakers and performers can let “buyers” know of their offerings in anticipation of programming for the Corps of Discovery II in 2005 and 2006.
- Work continued this month to tie down dates and places for additional interpretive signing workshops in 2004. It was decided that workshops will be offered in Billings (Feb. 5), and Miles City (Feb.6); a similar workshop will be offered in Western Montana in mid-February (location and date tbd). Look for more on these workshops in early January.
- A “heads-up” – I have been informed that LC Adventures, Ltd. is planning to film a made-for-television event in this coming Spring. They plan to film various modern day modes of transport to see how rapidly (and easily?) the Lewis & Clark Trail can be navigated from St. Louis to the West Coast. They plan to be in Montana in close proximity to the Lewis & Clark Trail from May 27 to June 1, 2004. I will not offer our office as a logistical coordinator for this effort, but will work to communicate as I can to get this group connected to agencies, Tribes and communities as appropriate.
- In late December I drafted a letter of support to the U.S. Geological Survey for the renaming of “Half Breed Rapids” to “Pine Island Rapids,” and also the naming of a nearby island as “Pine Island.”
- Friday, December 19th was the deadline for the submittal of 2004 grant applications. We received 39 Project Grant applications totaling $622,755 in requests. There were only 12 Organization & Planning (O&P) grant applications (out of a possible 22 organizations qualified to apply). Review and scoring will now proceed on the Project applications; the Grants Committee will make a recommendation on funding for these applications during the state Commission’s February 10th meeting.
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