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Director's Report April, 2004
- Publicity Update:
- The new six-week in-state publicity campaign was launched in mid-April with radio and TV spots being distributed to statewide media outlets on the 15th. The spots are designed to allow for identification tags by local Lewis & Clark groups. First Interstate Bank was listed a co-sponsor with the state Commission given their lead gift to the Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign.
- The Spring, 2004 issue of the Montana State Collegian featured a lead article on a new indoor exhibit and a new outdoor Lewis & Clark Challenge Course soon to be open adjacent to the Museum of Rockies in Bozeman. Additionally local events at the Headwaters State Park and in Three Forks were highlighted.
- Lee Newspapers distributed a multiple page “Re-Discover Montana” insert to subscribers of their newspapers the week of April 26th. Many Lewis & Clark events and projects were featured.
- The Great Falls Tribune plans two Lewis & Clark supplements in their newspaper in the near future: one on May 2nd with statewide events and activities, and one on June 20th in conjunction with the annual Lewis & Clark Festival in Great Falls.
- Montana will be one of 11 trail states to concurrently stage “First Day of Issue” ceremonies for the new Lewis & Clark commemorative stamps. This event will be from 11 to noon on Friday, May 14th at the Great Falls Interpretive Center. The hour-long program will feature an opening prayer by young Blackfeet students, various dignitaries offering comments, and a closing song (“Pass it On”) sung by Rob Quist and students from the Great Falls Sacajawea Elementary School. The only place to get an official cache and first day of issue cancellation will be at the Interpretive Center on May 14th. Some 800 4th graders from the Great Falls area have been invited to tour the center that day and to partake in the activities.
- From April 4th to 6th I was attending the annual Governor’s Tourism & Recreation Conference in Billings. On the 5th I attended a meeting of the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance, and on the 6th a meeting with MTTA reps and Gerard Baker and Patricia Jones to discuss Corps II involvement. On Tuesday morning Lewis & Clark was featured in a plenary session (Gerard Baker, Dyani Bingham, Melody Dobson and Peggy Bourne presented fantastic updates!). The morning’s session concluded with Rob Quist and Jack Gladstone singing “Pass it On” to a near standing ovation. Montana’s two Signature Events and the state Commission also staffed a Lewis & Clark booth in the vendor area. A very productive and upbeat two days!
- On Wednesday, April 7th Patricia Jones, the Chief of Interpretation for Corps II presented nearly a day-long workshop on the details of programming the Tent of Many Voices. A very interesting and beneficial workshop! I have a video and PowerPoint from this workshop to lend out if communities are interested. Also a new 5-minute promo tape on Corps II was distributed (I have some extra copies of those as well).
- During the month I have worked with Betsy Baumgart, the Chair of the state Commission’s grant committee, to facilitate the solicitation of input from regional commissions and Indian representatives to ascertain what modifications might be proposed for 2005 and 2006. With limited funding the present grant programs will most likely be fine tuned for these next two years. The grants committee will meet on June 11th discuss options, with the goal of bringing a 2005/2006 proposal to the June 2004 state Commission meeting.
- On April 13th I connected via a conference call with Scott Mandrell and Tim Gore from the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles. We talked at length about this group’s plans for Montana in 2005 and 2006, and how Montana schools could most efficiently tie into the Discovery Expedition’s Education Initiative. Within the next few weeks I plan to continue those discussions with more phone calls with Scott and the new overall coordinator of the Discovery Expedition, Larry McClain. Interested communities can pose questions to this group anytime by accessing their web site at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- On April 20th I attended part of a two-day meeting of a new Indian Advisory Committee created by the Montana Historical Society mainly for the purpose of gaining appropriate Native American input for the design of the Society’s new flagship exhibit “Neither Empty nor Unknown: Montana at the Time of Lewis & Clark.”
- The MTRI Interagency Bicentennial Focus Team met in Helena on Wednesday, April 21st. Among many topics discussed was a plan to assist the 18 host sites for Corps II, the new national Lewis & Clark brochure to be printed soon, the re-allocation of Challenge Cost Share funds to four regional commissions (given that one regional commission declined to accept their funding), and the idea of creating a teacher’s aid based on new L&C interpretive sign messages on new signs throughout Montana. The next meeting of this group will be on Tuesday, October 5th in Helena.
- On April 22nd I traveled to Lolo to attend a meeting of the Western Montana Regional Commission. One topic of special interest was the Sula area in the Southern Bitterroot valley. Enhanced pullouts, interpretive signage and a possible commemorative event with the Salish Indians were discussed at length. Another key topic was the 17-day 2006 “significant event” tentatively called “Lewis & Clark in the Rockies.” Numerous events to supplement Corps II would be coordinated from Lolo to Hamilton to Missoula to Lincoln.
- The “Lewis & Clark at the Confluence” event organizers met in Williston, North Dakota on Friday, the 23rd; I connected via conference call. Plans are moving forward for this April 29-May 1, 2005 event on the Montana/North Dakota border.
- In late April I worked with Amy Baird to create some speaking points for reference as the Executive Committee makes contact with the Governor candidates. The state Commission wants to have Lewis & Clark support in the new Governor’s Office and 2005 Legislature.
- On April 27th I made a Bicentennial presentation to the Retired Teachers of Lewis & Clark County at their monthly luncheon at the Jorgenson’s Hotel in Helena. This was a very receptive and interested group.
- The Circle of State Advisors met via a conference call on Thursday, April 29th. Updates were given by the National Park Service, National Council, COTA and Federal Agency Partnership. The Missouri Bicentennial Commission also offered some a handout of “7 Lessons Learned” from summarizing their experiences with two signature events. The current PSA program with the National Ad Council was discussed (does it make sense to continue this program?). Additionally the new brochure being produced by the National Council was discussed.
- I met with Scott Lease from Pepsi also on Thursday the 29th to discuss the possibilities of various promotional and publicity efforts in 2005 and 2006. I think some exciting ideas will come to reality. (p.s. the new Lewis & Clark Coke cans will be in stores in late May; we have some samples in our office and they look sharp!)
- Good News/Bad News: Amy Baird is leaving her ½ position with the state Commission as of May 7th. We have however convinced her to retain her Legacy Campaign pledge management duties as a “moonlight job” at least for the immediate future. Rita and I both have valued Amy as a great employee and super person. She will now work full time for the Montana Historical Society as the Technology Coordinator for the Publication and Membership programs.
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