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Director's Report May, 2003
Fundraising Campaign Update:As mentioned in April’s Director’s Report, a new phase of the Legacy Campaign was ushered in during May as the campaign moves forward without the services of resident fundraising counsel. During the month two meetings of the Coordinating Committee were held via conference calls to set in motion the contracting for supplemental campaign support in key areas of the state. A job description was generated, and a contract is currently being drafted to allow the Montana History Foundation to enter into appropriate agreements with entities identified to provide the desired additional regional campaign coordination. Regional teams are continuing their local fundraising efforts in the Billings/Eastern Montana and Great Falls areas. Regional campaign co-leaders have been selected in the Bozeman/Yellowstone Country area. The Missoula/Western Montana regional team will also initiate work soon. A more detailed report will be offered during the state Commission’s May 27-28 meeting in Missoula.
- Publicity Update:
- During May I was interviewed by the Seattle Times newspaper. That article ran on Sunday, May 4th
- On the 22nd I will be interviewed by KXLF TV (MTN) re: the Confluence of Cultures Symposium which will be held on May 28-30, 2003
- I worked with Tom Cook (PR Coordinator for the Montana Historical Society) re: developing an expanded in-state PR/Publicity Program. If approved within the FY’04 budget the state Commission would run a series of TV and radio PSA-type announcements as well as utilizing other media opportunities.
- The planning continued for the Confluence of Cultures Symposium. I attended two planning meetings this month, one on the 2nd and one on the 16th. NOTE: This report was drafted on May 21st, so the Symposium is yet to take place. The June Director’s Report will include an “after the fact” report.
- On May 6th I connected with Carol McBryant, the Corps II logistics coordinator. Most, but not all of the 2005 and 2006 host locations have been identified for Montana. The final locations should be set by early to mid-June. Letters will then be sent to each community to “officially” notify them of their selection.
- During May I pursued the option of placing Gateway Interpretive Signs in up to 15 rest areas. The National Park Service has offered the state Commission some un-spent monies from the 2001 Challenge Cost Share program. I have been working with the MTRI Bicentennial Focus Team, the MDT and the NPS to find a logical use of those monies (these funds must be spent within a narrow scope of application). At present it appears optimistic to have the Gateway Signs placed in MDT rest areas, which was an early goal suggested by the state Commission.
- Planning was initiated this month for Montana’s Fifth Annual Lewis & Clark Conference. This year’s conference will be in Lewistown on October 2-3. The Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA) will play a key role in this year’s conference as an opening traditional meal and Indian encampment are being planned. Special corridor “information sharing” sessions will be offered as well as select educational sessions.
- The month immediately prior to the Spring meeting of the state Commission is always hectic for both Rita and me. A projected year-end (FY’03) budget was prepared as was the projected FY’04 budget. Reports such as “Tasks Completed this Year” and “Tasks to be Completed Next Year” were also drafted and sent to the Commission.
- Great news for the Commission’s 2003 Project Grants Program! Following the Commission’s February meeting it was doubtful if the remaining eight highest rated grant applications would be funded due to a tighter than anticipated budget. However, Region 1 of the USFS came forward this month and agreed to fund two of those remaining eight projects through their Rural Community Assistance Program. Thanks Region 1 and Scott Bell, program manager. It now looks feasible for the state Commission to complete the funding of the approved grantee list for this year.
- On May 15th I visited with LTC. Jonathan Jackson, our contact with the Montana National Guard. He outlined three areas that the Guard could potentially assist with:
- The Guard, if asked, might be able to participate in parades and have vendor-type booths as a part of local events
- The may, if asked and if their requested FY’04-‘05-‘06 budgets are approved, be able to lend support to civil authorities, communications, emergency rescue, and public affairs
- And, they may be able to assist with engineering and manpower for the construction of select infrastructure projects such as the building of trails and bridges, etc.
NOTE: LTC. Jackson will share more on these possible areas of involvement at the May Commission meeting. If you have questions, please contact me at the state Commission office.
- I traveled to the new Lolo Pass Visitor/Interpretive Center on May 15th. Keith Peterson (my counterpart in Idaho) and I met with the Clearwater National Forest representative and agreed on where the new commemorative plaque for Stephen Ambrose should be placed. We also discussed the ceremony program format details. Hal Stearns has agreed to represent the Montana Commission at this event. Stephenie Ambrose-Tubbs will attend and offer some comment; her mother also plans to attend.
- On Monday evening, May 19th I participated in a meeting of the local Gates of the Mountains Chapter. This meeting was unique in that the four local Lewis & Clark groups (three chapters and one regional commission) shared project planning information and their perspectives of the Lewis & Clark history closest to their groups. This is a “sharing format” that we may utilize during the Fall conference for the corridor sessions. This is a very good way for local groups to meet, discuss and share ideas.
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