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Tasks Completed July 2004 - June 2005
The Bicentennial Commission office was open and staffed all year.
On-going communication continued with the fourteen Regional Bicentennial Commissions, the agencies participating in the Bicentennial Focus Team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI), and the Bicentennial contacts on Montna's seven Indian Reservations. A segment of each of the three Commission meeting agendas was set aside for RBC and Tribal rep. presentations on activities and key projects. The interagency MTRI Focus Team met quarterly through FY'05.
The Commission's 'journal notes' newsletters was printed and distributed in July and November 2004 and in March 2005. The Commission continued to provide timely updates via an email "list serve" process. Interested persons continue to register on-line to receive these updates.
Monthly Director Reports were drafted and distributed.
The Commission worked with the Montana Historical Society to issue pertinent press releases as follows:
- 5/3/04 - Artist Selected for Lewis and Clark Bas Relief in Senate
- 6/3/04 - Lewis and Clark Performers' Showcase Set
- 7/2/04 - Bicentennial Commission Offers L&C Performing Arts Guide
- 12/22/04 - Montana, National L&C Bicentennial Leaders Set for Big Year
- 4/18/05 - NPS Challenge Grants for Motnana Lewis and Clark Projects
- 4/28/05 - Lewis and Clark Corps II Communities Receive Qwest Grant Funds
- 5/20/05 - New Commemorative L&C Map Presented to Governor Schweitzer
Participated in numerous interviews with TV, radio talk shows, newspapers and magazines featuring Lewis & Clark story lines.
- 7/14/04 – Aging Horizons TV interviews in July and November
- Numerous meetings with the Great Falls Tribune and the Billings Gazette regarding the creation a promotional one-page flyer for key events for distribution at VIC’s and Chambers of Commerce
- 9/23/04 – Radio interview on KLTZ in Glasgow re: Bicentennial readiness
- Regular interviews on KBLL radio in Helena for Bicentennial planning
- Partnered with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation on a press release announcing Arbor Day activities to be held in April, 2005
- Partnered with the Montana Newspaper Association for the distribution of a “Thank You” letter for papers including L&C stories
- 3/10/05 conducted an interview with USA Today on Lewis & Clark
- 3/30/05 spoke with an AP writer interested in a Lewis & Clark story
The Commission's website continued to grow throughout the past year with the Resource Library expanding with additions to the Performers/Presenters section, and more national and state events being listed.
A Performing Arts Showcase was held in Livingston on June 17-18; a printed L&C Performing Arts Guide was produced and marketed through the website.
Hal Stearns, Wyman McDonald and Jeanette (Tootie) Rasmussen were re-appointed by Governor Martz to serve new three-year terms on the Commission. Mark Sansaver from Wolf Point was appointed as a new Commission member when Darrell Martin resigned to accept a position with the National Park Service in Rapid City, South Dakota.
- Continued to work with the Montana Congressional delegation in an effort to secure funding appropriations to prepare and respond to Bicentennial Public Safety issues, to enhance the Commission’s grant program, and to prepare and present Montana’s two National Signature Events. No new Congressional funding has thus far resulted for these programs; renewed efforts are continuing in the 2005 session of Congress.
- Annual funding from Travel Montana ($200,000) continued in FY’05, allowing the Commission to continue with a base of operations.
- A $200,000 loan from the Montana Board of Investments (BOI) that was initially secured in March, 2002 was fully drawn in FY’03. Payments on that BOI loan were made in August, 2002, in February and August, 2003, in February and August 2004. A draw of $50,000 was made on a second BOI loan on February 20, 2004 as a loan to initiate the Senate Art Legacy Project. The final payment on both loans is scheduled for Febr. 2006.
- Partnered with the National Park Service to facilitate the delivery of 2004 Challenge Cost Share (CCS) Grant funding to 10 Montana groups. The Commission received a $5,000 grant for its "Performing Arts Showcase" and $2,750 for administration for pass through grants.
- Continued to work in partnership with the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. The National Council received a $320,000 grant from Qwest to help fund eight SIgnature Events, in addition to the Council's education campaign that included a CD-ROM offered to educators that allowed them to incorporate lesson plans about lewis & Clark into their teaching. The Council's Circle of Tribal Advisors also published A Guide to Visiting the Lands of Many Nations," funded in part by the NPS Challenge Cost Share Grant Program. Our office assisted with the distribution of these materials in Montana, in addition to the Council's commemorative poster.
- Travel Montana and the Qwest Foundation joined the Commission to fund a grants program in the amount of $168,872.66 for FY2005. $20,989.66 was pledged to 19 Organization & Planning Grants to regional commissions and tribal governments. The competitive Project Grants program was discontinued and all available funding was directed toward Program Grants totaling $148,000 to be distributed by the Commission to key programs, including Signature and significant events and Corps II host communities.
- The bicentennial license plate sales held steady in calendar 2004, with revenues of $185,780 showing a 15% decrease from calendar 2003. No paid advertising was purchased promoting the plate; however the plate’s image remains on the Commission’s web page, which generates continued interest and results in collector plate sales.
- At the request of the Commission, House Bill 164 was introduced by Rep. Walter McNutt, authorizing the continued sale of the bicentennial license plate and the allocation of license plate revenues to the Montana Historical Society after Dec. 31, 2006, to support L&C projects and an ongoing community grants program. This bill was tabled in committee and missed the appropriation bill transmittal. Subsequently, HB 301 sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Galvin-Halcro was introduced and signed into law. This bill authorized the continued sale of the plate, but allocated funds to the Dept. of Commerce and the Historical Society beginning Jan. 1, 2007. Funds will be allocated ¼ to the Society and ¾ to Commerce to be split equally between the L&C Interpretive Center Foundation, Pompeys Pillar Historical Association, and the Travelers’ Rest Preservation and Heritage Association.
- The Executive Committee had recommended that the Commission not directly seek any new L&C related legislation, but offer strong support for locally generated legislation focused on funding for Montana’s two Signature Events, provided the funding source was other than bed tax. Therefore, during the 2005 Legislative Session, the Commission supported HB 417, an unsuccessful attempt to secure funding for Montana’s two Signature Events. This bill was tabled in committee in late March and died as a result of missing the appropriations bill transmittal deadline. An alternate source of funds, a tax on motor homes owned by business entities, was identified in HB 771. This bill also failed on 3rd reading in the House and missed the transmittal deadline.
- The Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign’s ongoing general oversight and fiscal management continues through the Commission’s office. Regional fundraising efforts are continuing in the Billings and Great Falls areas, and the Montana Historical Society has had some success in obtaining funding for their new L&C exhibit, with the receipt of a $75,000 NPS Challenge Cost Share grant in 2005.The Campaign Status Report of June 30, 2005 showed the campaign had Total Gifts and Pledges of $619,959; Total Expenses of $632,511 and Total Revenue of $430,285.
- Partnered with the Montana Historical Society in promoting the Senate Art Project by highlighting the sale of bronze medallions in the journal notes newsletter and by displaying a color print of the artist’s model of the final project during various meetings. The unveiling of the bronze art piece has been rescheduled for 2006.
- Continued to work with the Montana Sheriff’s & Peace Officers’ Association, the Montana National Guard and other key agencies to prepare a Bicentennial Public Safety strategy for Montana.
- Coordination continued with periodic meetings of the regional bicentennial commissions, the eight recognized tribal governments in Montana, and the MTRI Bicentennial Focus Team agencies. The Commission once again granted the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA) $5,000 which in part resulted in MTTA being able to retain their full time coordinator. The interagency MTRI Focus Team continued to assist in interpretive signage planning in various corridors, and set in motion planning for hosting and programming Corps II’s Tent of Many Voices in 17 Montana communities.
- The Montana Commission continued to participate actively with the Circle of State Advisors (COSA), and to interact closely with the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. The Commission was represented at COSA and National Council meetings in Bismarck, North Dakota on October 21-22, 2004, and in Great Falls on June 2-3, 2005.
- In partnership with the National Park Service, the Commission worked to finalize the selection of 17 Montana host community sites for the Corps of Discovery II for 2005 and 2006. On-site logistical visits to the host sites were conducted by the National Park Service in the past 12 months. One host site opted to cancel out, that being Fort Belknap due to the shortness of planning and preparation lead time.
- In addition to providing on-going financial support for the continued planning for Montana’s two National Signature Events (“Explore! the Big Sky”, and “Clark on the Yellowstone”), the Commission worked closely with Montana “significant events”. The “Lewis & Clark at the Confluence; this long wished for spot” was held on April 29-May 1, 2005 in the confluence area of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers on the Montana/North Dakota border. The “Lewis & Clark in the Rockies” will be a 17-day series of community events in the Bitterroot and Missoula valleys from June 21 to July 7, 2006. Planning efforts were continuing with the Salish Indians for a commemorative event at the Ross’s Hole area on September 9-10, 2005. A commemorative event is tentatively being discussed with the Blackfeet Indians for July 2006.
Education & Research:
- The Commission's Education Committee continued to pursue the completion of several projects throughout 2005:
- Partnered with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Division, and the Office of Pubic Instruction to present a Lewis & Clark-themed Arbor Day observance in 2005. This included an invitation with Lewis & Clark images being designed and sent to all 5th grades in the state, as well as the posting of a curriculum on OPI’s web site. A special “Certificate of Participation” card will to complete this partnership.
- Assisted the US Army Corps of Engineers in planning three Lewis & Clark workshops in Montana in 2005; March 23-24 in Billings, April 26-27 in Missoula and May 3-4 in Great Falls.
- Presented numerous updates and presentations to civic groups and organizations.
<>ILContinued to provide pertinent updates to the Office of Public Instruction, and provided links and information for their new Lewis & Clark web site.
- Continued to be in communication with the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana to decide which visitation and spending studies would be best to undertake now that the Bicentennial is in Montana.
- The Commission continued as a participate on the advisory committee for the Undaunted Stewardship program being managed by the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Bureau of Land Management and Montana State University.
- State Legislative Update:
- The Executive Committee (which serves also as the Commission’s Legislative Committee) set the course for the 2005 session of the Montana Legislature. They recommended that the Commission not directly seek any new Lewis & Clark-related legislation, but offer strong support for locally generated legislation focused on funding for Montana’s two National Signature Events, provided that funding source is other than bed-tax revenues.
- The Executive Committee committed to contact all candidates for Governor in advance of the elections to champion the Lewis & Clark cause.
- The Commission, acting on legislation passed by the 2003 Montana Legislature, worked in partnership with the Montana Historical Society and the Senate Advisory Committee to select an artist and initiate the creation of the Lewis & Clark bronze art to be hung in the Montana Senate Chambers.
- The Commission and Montana Historical Society received a favorable Performance Audit review by the Legislative Auditors Division in April regarding the new Senate Art Legacy Project.
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