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Director's Report August 31, 2000
- At the request of the Montana Department of Transportation, the Commission has served as an 'advisor' in the design development of the state's new highway map. Rita attended two advisory committee meetings in August to give an objective opinion with an eye to how Lewis & Clark related information might be illustrated.
- A considerable amount of time was invested this month making final planning preparations for the upcoming Lewis & Clark Conference in Great Falls. To facilitate this planning process, Gail Brockbank, with Premier Planning, was hired to work with Rita to finalize the many planning details. The agenda was completed, speakers were confirmed, and publicity planned. The conference registration forms were in the mail on August 31, 2000. PLEASE let us know if you are aware of possible conference sponsorships. This year's conference is preceded by a three-day workshop at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center focussing on community based volunteering and developing partnerships.
NOTE: The Commission will have its Fall meeting in conjunction with the 2nd Annual Lewis & Clark Conference. Its meeting will be at the Great Falls Holiday Inn from 1:30 to 5:00 PM on October 4th, and from 8:00 to 11:00 AM on the 5th.
- I traveled to Billings on August 9th and 10th for three meetings.
- First, I met with Wendy Chandler regarding the proposed Lewis & Clark license plate. The process has been initiated to have a bill draft generated by Legislative Services, and to have some design options professionally illustrated. We will tentatively have some draft legislation and plate designs to review at the L&C conference in Great Falls.
- Second, I met with representatives of the Pompey's Pillar Historical Association to review plans for a new interpretive center. Architectural designs are almost finalized and fundraising efforts are underway. If all goes as anticipated, the new center would be open with the start of the Bicentennial in 2003.
- Third, I made a L&C presentation to the NTA pre-caucus. Most of the attendees at this pre-caucus work with the National Tour Association to market to group travel operators.
- On August 11th and 12th I, (and about 500 other L&C "followers") were in Dillon for the 32nd annual meeting of the National Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, and a meeting of the National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council. The National L&C Bicentennial Council discussed a variety of issues, including:
- The submission of Signature Event Proposals. It was agreed that 30 copies of the proposals are necessary for submission to the Council by 9/18/00.
NOTE: As of August 28th, three Montana proposals were forwarded to me to be reviewed by the Commission's Event Committee to determine which one(s) will be 'endorsed' by the Montana L&C Commission. They were from the Upper Missouri Bicentennial Commission (Cascade & Chouteau counties), the Gallatin Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Association, and the Yellowstone County Bicentennial Commission.
- A significant amount of time in Dillon centered on the upcoming 9/15 deadline for the second submission of projects to the National Council (the first such submittal being in January of this year). It was finally decided that each state was to submit its revised list of "Tier I" projects, with its top two identified as that state's "most nationally significant" L&C projects. Those two "most significant" L&C projects from each state will be combined into a top priority list for reference by the House and Senate L&C Caucuses. Montana's list of projects will be drawn from the new Master Plan now in its final development stages.
NOTE: The new Master Plan development is progressing on schedule, with review and comment coming from the Commission, agencies, tribes and regional bicentennial commissions around the state. The new plan will be "unveiled" during the October 5th and 6th conference in Great Falls.
- The Council also discussed its progress on entering into an agreement with the Carlson Marketing Group (CMG) to develop national sponsorship and product licensing programs. The project lists due to be submitted by each state by mid-September will provide the basis for what the CMG will raise funds for, in addition to the chosen Signature Events.
NOTE: The Licensing & Sponsorship Committee of the Montana L&C Commission has been working very closely with The Hingston Roach Group (THRG) to determine how Montana might best become involved with sponsorships and product licensing. As a part the new Master Plan, THRG will present its recommended implementation strategies for these two proposed programs in September. This will be a discussion issue at the Commission's October meeting.
- I have been working the Montana Department of Transportation and representatives from the Hamilton and Sula communities in regard to a possible new interpretive 'facility' in the area of Ross' Hole (where L&C met the Salish Indians). A planning meeting to discuss options is being planned.
- On August 17th I again made a L&C presentation, this time for the Sunrise Rotary Club of Helena (the meeting was at 7:00, but the breakfast was worth the early hour!).
- Plans are being discussed for the Commission to offer another grants program in 2001. I am working to solicit additional agency and corporate funding partners. The Tourism Advisory Council has committed to invest $50,000 if the Commission can secure a minimum of $50,000 from at least one private sector partner.
- I am planning a trip through the Eastern reaches of Montana hopefully in mid to late September to visit with the regional bicentennial commissions in those counties.
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