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Director's Report January, 2004
Fundraising Campaign Update: The relocation of the campaign office into the existing state Commission office is now complete. Likewise all of the extra furnishings of the campaign office have now been liquidated, with the sales proceeds going into the campaign’s account. Regional fundraising teams in the Billings and Great Falls areas continue to move forward, as does the planning for initiating a regional fundraising effort in the greater Gallatin County area. Appropriate follow-up contacts will be made with prospective foundations and corporate sponsors. Business, foundations and individuals interested in contributing to the on-going Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign should contact the campaign at: 406-457-9080, or the state Commission at: 406-443-2109.
- Publicity Update:
- On January 13th I was interviewed by the Great Falls Tribune, and asked the general questions including the hardest of all “how many visitors are expected”? If I only knew the answer to that question!
- At month’s end press releases are being prepared to announce the final selections of Corps II host communities; for the distribution of the new Lewis & Clark Educator Resource Guides; and for the artist selection for the Senate Art Legacy Project.
- Early in January I was very involved with the reviewing and scoring of the 39 project grant applications submitted for the 2004 grants program. A final meeting of the grants scoring committee will be held on Friday, January 30th to compile a slate of projects for the full Commission to consider.
- A considerable amount of time was invested by Rita and me this month in the initial planning of the June 17-18 Commission meeting and Talent Showcase to be held in Livingston. This is new ground for us. Both a Conference Planner/Coordinator and Talent Showcase Manager will need to be retained, as well as a stage manager to coordinate on-site activities. Presenters and performers are being solicited to participate. Grant requests have been submitted to the National Park Service (2004 CCS Program), and to the Montana Committee for the Humanities. A request for an Opportunity Grant from the Montana Arts Council will be made as well as a USFS/NEA grant request will be made. Look for more information on this upcoming “event” in the near future.
- If it’s January, then it must be time for Challenge Cost Share Grant Applications. I was pleased to offer letters of support for various Montana applications (the NPS tells me that they received 190 applications this year; down about 50 from 2003). The state Commission also submitted an application for the current year grant program; a request of $20,000 for annual Lewis & Clark conferences/showcases for 2004 and 2005. The NPS is expected to announce grant award winners by mid-March.
- With the incredible support of both Qwest and The Watercourse at MSU, some 600 copies of the newly expanded Lewis & Clark Educator’s Resource Guide were sent in mid-January to Montana school and public libraries with an introductory letter from the state Commission.
- On January 12th I met with Dave Galt, the Director of the Montana Department of Transportation. We discussed the state’s new and updated rest areas, the new Lewis & Clark Directional Signs for interpretive areas adjacent to highway right of ways, and various other topics including the ownership and interpretation of Tower Rock.
- Also in January we were contacted by the Governor’s Office regarding a Western Governor’s Association reception to be held in Washington, DC on February 22, 2004. The plan is to have a Lewis & Clark theme, so we were approached to supply some Montana promotional material. We will send Signature Event banners, brochures and lapel pins. Additionally I arranged for the COSA Trail States Banner to be prominently displayed.
- The annual Governor’s Tourism and Recreation Conference will be held in Billings on April 5th and 6th. This year’s conference will feature a general session for a Lewis & Clark Update focused primarily on the state’s two Signature Events. A Lewis & Clark display will also be set-up in the vendor area.
- From January 15-18, I was in St. Louis, MO for a series of meetings and the grand opening of the Lewis & Clark Traveling Exhibit created by the Missouri Historical Society (is a great display!). A day-long Signature Event meeting on that Friday highlighted the weekend, as well as a meeting of COSA on Saturday. Seven signature events are scheduled in 2004!
- On January 21st I participated in a meeting of the MTRI interagency Bicentennial Focus Team. Topics included: the introduction of Wendy Raney, the new Field Operations person for the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation; a discussion of the proposed LC Adventure film project (to be discussed in more detail at the 2/10 Commission meeting); review of the two Interpretive Sign Workshops to be held in February; and an in-depth conversation via a conference call with Pat Jones re: the programming of the Corps II Tent of Many Voices.
NOTE: There will be an all day workshop with Pat Jones in Billings on April 7th to review Tent of Many Voices program planning for the 18 Corps II host communities.
- Also on January 21st I learned from Carol McBryant, the Logistics Coordinator for Corps II, that the 2005 and 2006 schedule is now completed for Montana. That list will be featured on the state Commission’s and NPS web sites; additionally a press release will be issued in the immediate future.
- January 21st was busy day! That evening I attended a meeting of the Lewis & Clark County’s Bicentennial Commission. I was very impressed by the volume of work they are working to accomplish, and know that this effort is being duplicated in the other regional commissions and tribal groups statewide. An amazing amount of dedication by volunteers!
- On Friday, January 23rd I attended a meeting of the Senate Art Legacy Committee as finalists were interviewed for the bronze art to be place in the Montana Senate Chambers. A finalist was selected, and a press release is will be issued pending a contractual agreement being finalized. I’m very confident this artist will create a first-class piece of art that Montanans will be very proud of for many, many years. This will truly be a great legacy for Montana’s Bicentennial Commemoration.
- On January 24th I traveled first to Bozeman to attend a planning meeting of the Headwaters Chapter, then to Livingston to do a property inspection for the June Commission meeting/Talent Showcase (we’ve located a GREAT venue for the showcase; thanks to Penney Carpenter). While in Livingston I attended an evening fundraising reception for the creation of a local “Sacajawea on Horseback” bronze sculptor. A very unique and quality piece.
- On January 26th I met with Betsy Allen and Chris Heggem with Senator Burns’ staff to discuss strategies for FY’05 Congressional Appropriations.
- On January 29th I traveled to Harlowton, MT to meet with Signature Event coordinators to discuss among other things marketing strategies and various fundraising options.
- And, finally on Friday, January 30th the grants scoring committee met to review scores and to compile a slate of proposed grantees for 2004. This slate will be presented for consideration of the full Commission at its February 10th meeting in Great Falls.
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