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Director's Report January, 2003

    Fundraising Campaign Update: The news for the Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign this month was very positive, as the total amount of pledges secured has approached $600,000, highlighted by the $50,000 pledge by the Davidson Companies. New prospects were cultivated with both private individuals and corporate interests. Research also continued on the selection of key foundations. In the very near future the state Commission’s web site will host a section offering campaign highlights. The new Advisory Committee for the campaign’s Native American Heritage Program met via conference call on January 7th, and firmed their commitments to search for funding and for assisting in getting funds raised distributed to worthy Montana Indian projects. The campaign’s Statewide Leadership Committee met at First Interstate Bank in Billings on January 9th, and the Coordinating Committee met in Helena on January 29th. Of key interest was the further development of regional fundraising teams, and of “top prospect” lists for individuals, corporations and foundations.

  • Work continued in January on the planning of the national Lewis & Clark Retrospect of Success conference to be held in Great Falls on April 13-16, 2003. This conference is hosted by the Upper Missouri Bicentennial Commission, and is co-sponsored by the state Commission, Travel Montana, National Park Service and the National Endowment for the Arts. Educational tracks will compliment a full slate of Lewis & Clark Partner meetings. Those tracks are: Event Planning & Packaging; Finance; Tribal; Marketing; Hospitality; and Security. Registration information will very soon be available on-line on the Commission’s web site.

  • Publicity Update:
    • Final edits were made to the Commission’s first PSA that made its debut on Montana PBS this month. Presently plans call for three unique messages to be shown throughout 2003. To compliment this effort, we are also working to have Montana PBS show the Lewis & Clark: Montana’s Story video later this Spring.
    • On January 7th I was interviewed on the CNN Legislative Update. This segment was aired numerous times over the subsequent 10 days.
    • The Face the State Lewis & Clark segment taped on December 12th was aired on January 12th.
    • The Aging Horizons show featuring Lewis & Clark was aired for a week starting on January 14th.
    • Numerous other TV and radio interviews were conducted immediately prior to, and during the January 18th inaugural events.
    • The Commission’s new electronic press kit (developed by Travel Montana and the H2O advertising agency) was unveiled during the Monticello kick-off event. That new site can be accessed at: www.lewisandclark.montanainfo.org.

  • Inaugural Kick-Off Events:
    • From January 14-19, 2003, I was in Charlottesville, Virginia, for the inaugural event off the Bicentennial. The events were held at the University of Virginia, and at Monticello. The event was very professionally presented, with many sessions featuring the leaders with a wide variety of Lewis & Clark expertise. American Indian tribes were very well represented as well and presented their respective perspectives of the Expedition. Of Montana note was Darrell Martin’s presentation during the “American Indian Voices” session on Friday morning, and the Warrior Society of the Blackfeet participating in the January 18th festivities at Monticello. Receptions and performances of musicals and dance were also presented. The highlight of the Jefferson’s West National Signature Event was on Saturday, January 18th on the west lawn at Monticello. The weather was chilly (no, it was darn cold!), but some 3,500 people attended, and were pleased they braved the cold. Speakers addressed the crowd and told of different elements and perspectives of President Jefferson’s dream of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. A gun salute by the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles officially signaled the commencement of the Bicentennial at approximately 2:00 EST. Some 50 Montanans attended various aspects of this inaugural event. The press coverage was superb with both national and statewide reporters having front-page stories for multiple days.
      NOTE: Also during my trip to Virginia I participated in a meeting of the COSA group on 1/15; went to Washington DC on 1/16 to meet with Senator Burns’ staff regarding a proposed Appropriations Request; joined in a press conference with State Travel Directors and COSA on Friday, January 17th; and assisted with the final reception for event attendees on the evening of the 18th.
    • The January 17-18, 2003 events at the state Capitol were also well attended and received. The Lewis & Clark Honor Guard presented the colors to both the House and Senate at 1:00 on Friday, followed by comments for President Jefferson (portrayed by Montana’s own Bob Doerk). On Saturday the Honor Guard presented the colors in the state Capitol Rotunda. President Jefferson offered timely comments, and was the program emcee. Governor Judy Martz, Tony Incashola (Salish Cultural Committee Chair), Senator Dale Mahlum, Representative Doug Mood, and Brigadier General Randy Mosley (Montana National Guard) offered brief comments. Exhibits and displays were open to the public from 9-1; approximately 1,000 were estimated to be in attendance.
    • Kick-off events were also held in Livingston on Friday evening, January 17th; in Billings for a breakfast on Saturday the 17th; a press conference was held at Travelers’ Rest on the 18th; and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls also had special tours and programs on the 18th.

  • On January 22nd I attended a meeting of the MDT Sign Committee to “lobby” for Lewis & Clark directional signs (“Lewis & Clark Interpretive Marker Ahead”). A favorable commitment was reached to move ahead with these new signs pending final financial review by the MDT director. The signs would identify Lewis & Clark-related interpretive signs located on (or hopefully immediately adjacent) to MDT rights-of-way.

  • The Working Group of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative met in Helena on Thursday, January 23rd. The primary focus of this meeting was setting the agenda for the March 25 meeting of agency directors. The newly completed 5-Year Tourism & Recreation Strategic Plan will be of prime importance as directors choose top priority projects.

  • Mike Oliver is Retired! Well, that’s not entirely true. But Mike did “retire” from his Congressional Lewis & Clark Caucus Liaison position in mid-January. Thanks Mike for a job well done!! Now, it’s off to do similar government liaison work, but this time in conjunction with Governor Martz’ office in Helena.

  • Senate Bill 195, sponsored by Senator Grimes and other key legislative leaders, the bill to create a piece of Lewis & Clark relief art for the Montana Senate Chambers had its first committee hearing on January 24. More information to come during the Commission meeting on February 11th, but the Commission’s Legacy Project committee (and full Commission) has endorsed this project as the Commission’s key statewide legacy project for the Bicentennial. The current bill outlines that artists will be solicited, and the overall project would be coordinated through a partnership of “retired” Montana Senators and current state Commission members.

  • On January 27th I traveled to Superior, MT, to address an annual planning retreat of the Glacier Country Tourism Association. Joining me to talk about Lewis & Clark were Scott Sproull (Western Montana Bicentennial Commission), and Loren Flynn (Travelers’ Rest).

  • And, finally on January 28th I coordinated a conference call meeting of the Commission’s Grants Committee. After nearly three hours of discussion to review projects and their tallied scores, the committee chose 13 grants totally $102,770 as a slate to be presented for approval by the full Commission on February 11th. Fifty-two (52) grant applications were submitted for the 2003 project grants program, with a total “ask” of $825,492.
 

 


 

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