3rd Annual State Lewis & Clark Conference Set - 9/27/01
The Third Annual Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Conference will be Oct. 11 and 12 at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center with a tour and reception planned at historic Pompeys Pillar in addition to workshops and presentations designed to prepare communities across the state for the 200th anniversary of the famous expedition.
The theme of this year's conference is "15 Months and Counting - Plans, Programs, Progress" as the state prepares to take its part in national bicentennial activities that begin Jan. 18, 2003.
"When we began this process more than three years ago, January of 2003 seemed a long ways off to many people," said Clint Blackwood, executive director of the Montana Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission. "We still have much to do, but we will be ready if we continue to work together."
The new Montana Lewis and Clark bicentennial license plate will be formally presented at the conference. The plates will go on sale statewide Jan. 2, 2002, for $30 with $20 of that dedicated to support bicentennial planning, Blackwood said.
The state Tourism Advisory Council has committed $50,000 and the Bonneville Power Administration $25,000 to the commission's 2002 grants program to support statewide Lewis and Clark projects.
Blackwood said with proceeds from the license plates and other sources that the commission hopes to have up to $225,000 available for grants for local projects in 2002. The state Bicentennial Commission will adopt revised grant guidelines when it meets during the conference.
The Montana Ambassadors are sponsoring a four-hour, pre-conference workshop in Billings Oct. 10 titled "Before Your Event Opens," which will include nuts and bolts planning information and ways to establish lasting partnerships with sponsors, Blackwood said.
Thursday's formal conference sessions begin at 1 p.m. with a welcoming ceremony followed by an overview of national activities presented by Michelle Bussard, executive director of the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, Rachel Retterath, North Dakota's bicentennial coordinator, and Blackwood.
The tour and reception at Pompeys Pillar, which has recently been designated a National Historic Monument, will be Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Several concurrent sessions on topics ranging from linking to major events, emerging education programs and how to secure funding for Lewis and Clark events are scheduled all day Friday.
Exhibitors with Lewis and Clark related items and marketing tools will be set up in the convention center both days, Blackwood said, and a brochure and business card exchange table will allow attendees to link up with persons across the state.
For registration information call 406-442-4141 or log on to the commission's web site at www.montanalewisandclark.org
Gov. Judy Martz has recently appointed Germaine White of St. Ignatius and Jeanette Rasmussen of Choteau to the state Bicentennial Commission. Hal Stearns of Missoula was reappointed to a second term.
"We continue to have great participation from all across Montana, and this truly will be a commemoration that touches all parts of the state," Blackwood said.