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Director's Report October 31, 2002
Fundraising Program Update:The Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign felt the passing of Stephen Ambrose, as just prior to his death, he had agreed to be an Honorary Chair for the campaign along with Ken Burns. However, in discussions with Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs, the Ambrose family expressed their strong commitment to continue to work in support of Montana’s Lewis & Clark fundraising campaign. Great News! And, a very sincere “Thank You” to the Stephen Ambrose family! October also was a time of review and projection as the campaign’s Coordinating Committee met on the 30th to discuss the overall status of the campaign, and specifically the options for continuing the contract with Charles Bentz Associates beyond 12/02. All agreed that the campaign was on-track, and that very positive movement has been recently made in securing numerous large pledges. Campaign press releases are planned for mid-November and early December as the campaign moves away from its “quiet phase.” As a contingency move, the Commission applied for, and received, the commitment for a second Board of Investment loan if campaign operation expenses dictate.
- The “Who’s Who” of Lewis & Clark in Montana were in Bozeman on October 2,3,& 4 for meetings of the Regional Commissions, Tribal Contacts, State Commission, and the 4th Annual L&C Conference. Overall the conference was rated a success by those completing an evaluation. A special thanks again to the Gallatin County Bicentennial Association for their leadership and cooperation for this year’s conference.
- On the 8th I met with a journalist from the United Kingdom who was on assignment in Montana to do a story of the upcoming L&C Bicentennial. She was encouraging that her readership would be interested in visiting key trail sites over the course of the Bicentennial.
- The November 2002 issue of the Commission’s “journal notes” newsletter was drafted, edited and printed following the state conference in Bozeman. All newsletters are posted on the Commission’s web site for review.
- During this past month two planning meetings were held to further outline the “Lewis & Clark Day in Montana” to be held at the state Capitol on January 18, 2003. With the relative short planning window, it was decided to focus only on events at the Capitol that Saturday (8 AM-1:00 PM), and to not host an additional entertainment event that Friday evening as was once considered. President Jefferson has agreed to make brief comments to both the Montana House and Senate that day, as well as emcee the Rotunda program slated to run from 9:00 to 9:45; Governor Judy Martz has been invited to speak as well. Displays and exhibits will be open to the public.
- On Friday, October 11th I traveled to Butte to address the annual meeting of the Montana League of Cities and Towns. Overall, this group was very interested in plans being made statewide in Montana.
- On October 12th I joined other staff from the Montana Historical Society in presenting an informational booth at an Expo held at Carroll College. While space didn’t allow for a large display of Lewis & Clark items, the Expo did provide a forum for many folks to become more familiar with Society programs and merchandise.
- I met with Doug Galarus, with the University of Montana on Thursday morning, October 17th to discuss a Lewis & Clark kiosk project now being developed in partnership with the state Commission, Travel Montana, the Montana Department of Transportation and others. When completed, these kiosks will provide visitors a new medium by which Lewis & Clark information can be accessed. The kiosk database will include Lewis & Clark event information as well as a wide variety of travel information.
- I then traveled to Pendleton, OR the afternoon of October 17th to participate in the Fall meeting of the Circle of State Advisors (10/18), and the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial (10/19). The following are some brief highlights:
- COSA meeting – The Circle of State Advisors discussed numerous issues including their collective partnership to co-host a January 18th reception at the University of Virginia following the Inaugural event at Monticello, and the creation of a Trail States Banner for the display area.
NOTE: Each state agreed to contribute $250 toward the reception. Ron Clark, with Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Marking Group, Inc., has presented a check to the state Commission in that amount to cover Montana’s contribution. Thanks Ron!
Additional items covered by COSA included a review of Monticello’s Signature Event; plans to host a press conference in conjunction with Monticello’s Signature Event; a proposed trail wide re-enactment by a group from St. Charles, MO; a review and update on Department of Interior plans, most notably Corps of Discovery II; a national council update from Bob Archibald, the council’s new president; an update on the 2002 “Interest & Awareness” research study currently underway; and, the election of COSA’s new chair for the coming year…. Cindy Tryon from South Dakota.
- National Council Meeting – A main underlying theme throughout this meeting was the council’s financial situation. Contracts with the Metropolitan Group (the firm hired to raise funds and coordinate marketing and communication efforts), and with LewisAndClarkTrail.com have been effectively put on hold. The national council did discuss at length plans to enter into a contract with the National Ad Council for a $150 Million+ campaign over the next four years. The Missouri Historical Society has stepped forward to offer some very critical interim financing. The national council is still working to secure national sponsorships and grant funds. The Council also discussed plans for the Spring 2003 meetings to be held in Great Falls.
- The Confluence of Cultures planning committee met at Carroll College in Helena on October 25th. Applications to present and/or to perform are now being returned. Discussion centered on how to reach out to presenters that may not otherwise submit “application information.” Everyone was encouraged to develop lists of Indians and non-Indians who may have an interesting (and challenging) topic to address. Personal invitations will be made to those key contacts to encourage their participation.
- Also on the 25th, I met with Governor Martz’s Chief of Staff, Barbara Ranf. I offered a brief Bicentennial Planning Update and stressed the necessity of the state Commission maintaining its base funding through the upcoming biennium. No firm commitments were made, however the Chief of Staff did indicate appreciation with the planning efforts to date, and acknowledged the work yet to be accomplished. Stay tuned as the 2003 Legislative session nears.
- I traveled to Red Deer, Alberta on October 28 & 29th to present to the annual Fall Alberta Tourism Conference. It was interesting to see the interest (and the questions) that these Canadians had regarding the Bicentennial. Alberta will be celebrating their province’s 100-year Centennial during 2005. Much interest was shown regarding how Montana and Alberta might coop some marketing and PR efforts.
- I will be interviewed on “Aging Horizons” on 12/4 (broadcast date not set)
- I will be interviewed on “Face the State” on 12/12 (broadcast date not set)
- I met with representatives from the Northern Broadcasting System on 10/22 to discuss various radio programming options
- On 10/31 I met with a representative from the Montana PBS and committed to a series of public update messages to be aired over the next 12 months
- The Commission’s new PR/Publicity program to be launched this year is moving forward as Travel Montana takes the lead in creating an electronic press kit. I will be work with Tom Cook, the Publicity Coordinator for the Montana Historical Society, to craft and implement a more complete “in-state” publicity program (i.e. radio talks shows, newspaper interviews, TV interviews, etc.)
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