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Director's Report November 30, 2002

    Fundraising Program Update:November witnessed the continued growth and evolution of the Montana Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign as First Interstate Bank pledged the first $500,000 gift to the campaign. Several other significant campaign pledges are imminent as the campaign’s sponsorship program moves forward and as personal commitments are secured from the statewide Leadership Team and the Boards of the campaign partners. The decision was made in mid-November to extend the contract with Charles Bentz Associates to continue the full-time Resident Director through June of 2003. With the leadership of Stephenie Ambrose, initial plans were developed to launch the new “Friends of Stephen Ambrose Society” campaign effort. Additionally, an advisory committee was identified to further define the parameters of the Native American Heritage Program within the campaign, and grant research continued.

  • Welcome Wyman McDonald! The state Commission is back to twelve members as Governor Martz appointed Wyman McDonald to fill the un-expired term of Germaine White. Among Wyman’s many accomplishments was his position as the Coordinator of Indian Affairs of Montana from 9/96 to 12/99. Wyman lives in Polson, MT; his appointment was supported by the Salish Tribal Council.

  • On November 1st I attended the dedication of a new interpretive kiosk in Bonner. This kiosk is the first of three planned for the Blackfoot River Corridor, an area from Bonner to Lincoln along Highway 200. The MTRI Interagency Bicentennial Focus Team, which was very involved in this signing effort, is now soliciting interest from other Lewis & Clark corridors interested in a similar, coordinated interpretive signing process.

  • During November I met as a part of a Contents Planning Team for the April 2003 National Lewis & Clark Conference to be held in Great Falls. Specifically, I am assisting in the formulation of the “Finance Track” which will include qualified speakers on general fundraising, insurance, vendor shows and fee assessment/ registrations for events. The April conference will also have Safety, Hospitality, Management, Working with Volunteers, Indian and Marketing tracks.

  • January 18th Kick-Off Events Update:
    • Planning continued this month on the “Lewis & Clark in Montana” event to be held at the state Capitol on January 18, 2003 to signal the national kick-off of the Bicentennial. The Lewis & Clark Honor Guard (along with President Jefferson) will present the colors to both the House and Senate. A short program will then be held in the Rotunda starting at 9:00 A.M., followed by exhibits and demonstrations, also in the Rotunda until1:00 P.M.
    • During the month I conferred via weekly telephone conference calls with Montana’s two National Signature Event Coordinators to refine details surrounding Montana’s booth in Monticello, and the emerging new “Montana Signature Event Brochure” to be given as a handout during Monticello’s event on January 14-19, 2003.
    • I also coordinated with Rachel Retterath, North Dakota’s Bicentennial Coordinator, on the design of a “Trail States Banner” to be prominently displayed in the vendor area at the University of Virginia. This new banner will give a strong visual message that the Bicentennial is a multi-year event, and spans 19 states from coast to coast.
    • A quick e-mail request was sent out this month to query as to the number of Montanans planning to attend Monticello’s national inaugural event. Some 40+ people responded! Montana should be well represented in Virginia this coming January.

  • I was a seventh grade teacher for a day in Clancy on November 14th. What a positive experience! I was very impressed with the interest and level of questions asked. I came away realizing (to my surprise) that these seventh graders were as informed and educated regarding the basics of Lewis & Clark as are most of the adult audiences that I regularly address. I can see now why teachers are so interested in using the Lewis & Clark topic as an educational focus.

  • Publicity Update:
    • On November 15th I was interviewed by Montana Living Magazine regarding Bicentennial planning efforts.
    • On the 20th I was interviewed by KGPR radio in Great Falls; also related to a Bicentennial update.
    • On the 26th I met with H2O Advertising to review the progress to date on the development of an electronic press kit. When completed in early January, this new press kit will be a great “fulfillment” piece as media request Lewis & Clark updates. This is great news for Rita and me!!
    • Also during the past month I have worked with Tom Cook, the Publicity Coordinator for the Montana Historical Society, to initiate the creation of an expanded in-state publicity/PR program. This will include TV, radio and newspapers.
    • I met with Travel Montana in November to offer ideas and suggestions for a face-lift of their Lewis & Clark in Montana brochure.

  • I met with Mike Oliver on the 20th to discuss strategies for Appropriation Requests to the 108th Congress to convene in January of 2003. We are tentatively considering a request for funds for re-granting through the Commission’s grant programs, and funds for further implementation of the Interpretive Sign Strategy. The state Commission will offer support for numerous other appropriation requests being submitted locally.

  • On November 22nd I traveled to Missoula for a meeting of the Confluence of Cultures Symposium planning committee. Of special note in this meeting was the decision to send special invitations to present and/or to perform to key individuals and groups that may otherwise not be proactive in expressing their desire to be involved. Many, many details are yet to be finalized, but overall the committee was very encouraged with the applications to participate received to date.

 

 

 


 

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