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Director's Report February, 2003
Fundraising Campaign Update:Work continued on course through February with an increased focus on the development of regional fundraising teams. Very significant campaign pledges were secured from Oftedal & Sons ($25,000), and MDU Resources ($50,000). Thank you! Plans were made, and then postponed, to travel to Detroit, MI, to present a sponsorship proposal to Daimler Chrysler. This lead may eventually become a national sponsor as well. This meeting is anticipated to be re-scheduled within the next 30-45 days. The Coordinating Committee of the campaign will meet in Helena on Wednesday, March 12th. An accurate overall assessment of the campaign includes that the goals and implementation remain “on the right track” with significant success in securing pledges; however, cash realized to the campaign is slower than anticipated as pledge payments are committed over a multi-year timeframe.
- Publicity Update:
- The new electronic press kit was unveiled during the state Commission’s meeting on February 11th, and select modifications have since been made to bring the content to a higher level of historical accuracy. New information and key computer links will be added on an on-going basis.
- On February 26th I was interviewed by a Washington, DC-based reporter for the Great Falls Tribune. We spoke at length about the just-announced federal budget for FY’03 and the Montana Lewis & Clark projects within that budget. We also reviewed the state Commission’s plans for Appropriations Requests for the 108th session of Congress.
- On February 27th I was again interviewed on the CNN Legislative Update from the state Capitol. I spoke about the upcoming national Lewis & Clark Retrospect of Success conference to be held in Great Falls on April 13-16, and the Confluence of Cultures Symposium to be held at the University of Montana on May 28-30, 2003.
- I made a presentation to the winter meeting of the Tourism Advisory Council in Helena on February 5th. In addition to expressing appreciation for the on-going accommodations tax funding that the state Commission receives, I pitched the idea of the six tourism regions coordinating with the 14 regional bicentennial commissions and tribal contacts on future Lewis & Clark brochure development efforts.
- During February I worked with Travel Montana on the re-design and update of their Lewis & Clark brochure. Four more pages were added to this brochure to offer an explanation of Montana’s two National Signature Events and to expand the Points of Interest along the trail. The new brochure is anticipated to be distributed starting this Spring.
- On the 6th I met with the Montana Superhost trainers to share with them the latest in Lewis & Clark planning efforts statewide, in an attempt to make frontline employees more knowledgeable about Lewis & Clark. A printed supplement will be created for distribution in local areas once attendees to the Superhost classes have viewed the 22-minute Lewis & Clark video.
- The Education Committee and Regional Commissions and Tribal Contacts met in Helena on Monday, February 10th. A more in-depth summary of meeting notes will soon be posted on the state Commission’s website, but here are some highlights:
- Education Committee Meeting - these priorities were re-affirmed:
- Confluence of Cultures Symposium – will be held on the UofM campus on May 28-30, 2003
- Lewis & Clark Educators Resource Guide – a revised and expanded edition will be available in the Spring, 2003
- Lewis & Clark: Montana’s Story – a printed supplement to be created and distributed along with Superhost training
- Lewis & Clark Guide Training – has been very popular thus far, with a new classes to be offered this Spring through the Lewis & Clark Training Academy in Great Falls
NOTE: More qualified Lewis & Clark tour guides might be needed in the not too distant future. In one week alone this month, TWO tour groups approached our office searching for guides/speakers for 10-day Montana tours. Get yourself listed; tell others to get listed on the Commission’s new website database.
- RBC/Tribal Meeting-
- Ideas were shared on how some RBCs are working toward funding at least a part-time coordinator
- The need for better statewide Bicentennial publicity to gain (and keep) interest and awareness high was suggested
- Time was set aside for a round table discussion of various issues
- It was suggested that the Fall conference be structured to allow for regional commissions and tribes to visit one another
- The state Commission met in Helena on Tuesday, February 11th. A full meeting summary will soon be posted on the state Commission's website. Some highlights include:
- A full budget review was made, and adjustments proposed and adopted due to the less than expected revenue from the Legacy Campaign and from sales of Bicentennial license plates
- Organizational & Planning Grants totaling $36,298 were awarded to 19 entities
- Project grants totaling $54,500 were awarded to five recipients; additional project grants totally $42,630 will be made to eight grantees on or before the state Commission’s May meeting (these later project grants are contingent on available funding)
- A Legacy Campaign update was presented
- A new trademark/log policy was adopted
- The Commission passed a motion to clarify the state Commission’s long-standing intent and policy that local entities have the authority to plan, coordinate, and present their respective events
- The Commission voted to partner with the Idaho Bicentennial Committee to have a bronze plaque made and installed on or adjacent to the new Lolo Visitor Center to pay tribute to Stephen Ambrose
- Senate Bill 195, the bill sponsored by Senator Duane Grimes to authorize the creation of a bronze bas relief piece of art to be placed long-term on the west wall of the Montana Senate Chambers, is making its way through the legislative process with very strong support. Once passed into statute an advisory committee comprised of former Montana Senators will work with the Montana Historical Society and state Commission to select an artist and theme focus for the art. A projected completion date of Spring of 2005 has been proposed. The project will be financed by the sale of small, collector pieces of the image.
- The new Documenting the Corps of Discovery exhibit was unveiled officially by the Montana Historical Society on Wednesday evening, February 12th. This new exhibit includes some very rare artifacts from the time of the Expedition, including an early copy of Patrick Gass’s journal (donated by the Dick Alberts family from Helena), and an original letter of credit carried by the Expedition.
- I received my “service pin” for 15 consecutive years of employment for the state of Montana. How many more years until retirement??
- On February 14th I traveled to Missoula for a meeting of the Confluence of Cultures Symposium. It is getting down to crunch time! All of the available time slots are filled with 78 presentations and 12 performances booked. Volunteer help is now being actively recruited. If you are interested in being a session monitor or are in any other way able to assist, please contact Linda Juneau at 406-243-6093, or call the state Commission office at 406-443-2109. The Symposium’s web address is: www.umt.edu/cultures.
- House Bill 601 and HJR 22 were heard in the House Administration Committee on February 18th. I spoke on behalf of the state Commission in support of both. HB 601 would mandate that the Tower Rock parcel of land near Hardy would remain in public ownership. HJR 22 would officially move to change the name of “Half Breed Rapids” to “Pine Island Rapids.”
- On February 18th I, along with Tom Cook, met with representatives of the KMTX radio station here in Helena. We discussed the interest and possibility of creating a “Montana Lewis & Clark Tour” as a new national Jet-Away/Get Away prize. Too early for details, but this could be an innovative way to promote one or more Montana events to a national audience.
- The March, 2003 edition of the journal notes newsletter was drafted and sent to the printer.
- Since I (and Rita) are official, card-carrying members to the AARP….., I accepted an invitation to meet with a Helena representative of AARP to explore their idea of creating Lewis & Clark trail hikes. This concept may get much larger than a Montana project as the national AARP is interested and may opt to generate events in addition to hiking tours.
- And finally, plans are now in place to present a Lewis & Clark Legislative Update from 5:00 to 6:00 PM on Tuesday, March 18th in the Old Supreme Court Chambers. The state Commission’s new Interim Report will be hot off the press and ready for distribution. In addition to my offering a Bicentennial update, Sara Groves will join me to present a Legacy Campaign update. Perhaps some Legislators will want to give money? Or want to support the campaign in other ways?
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