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Director's Report June, 2004
On June 1st I traveled to the Ross’ Hole area near Sula, MT to meet with members of the Camp Creek Chapter, the Western Montana Regional Bicentennial Commission, the Montana Department of Transportation, and the Salish Tribe to discuss options for enhanced interpretive signage in this historic area. Various options were discussed with an alternative for signage immediately South of the Sula store being the first choice. A landscape architect will draw-up some conceptual drawings and MDT will review for implementation considerations. While in this area it was also mutually agreed to plan and present a commemora-tive event in late August or early September, 2005. Another on-site meeting will be held in the near future to formalize both these interpretive and event plans.
- Publicity Update:
- On June 3rd I interviewed with the MTN TV network, and on the 14th with the Livingston Enterprise re: the pending state Commission meeting and Performing Arts Showcase to be held in Livingston on June 17-18.
- The in-state Bicentennial PSA campaign through the Montana Broadcasters Association concluded the first week of June. Preliminary results show that the state Commission has, through the end of May, received $58,000 worth of airtime for its investment of $6,000 of purchased time. These PSA’s are formatted with a ‘doughnut’ to allow local groups to utilize and customize with tags. Contact the state Commission office for more detail.
- June 23rd I met and interviewed with two journalists from the United Kingdom who were traveling the L&C Trail from St. Louis to the Oregon/Washington coast. They both indicated a considerable interest in the British market for the “West” and “Lewis & Clark.”
- Much of the early part of June was spent in preparation for the state Commission meeting and Performing Arts Showcase to be held in Livingston on the 17-18. The Commission meeting was held from 8AM-3PM on the 17th, with a two-hour working lunch and discussion with Regional Commissions and Tribal reps from 11AM-1PM. The Showcase with a performers reception was held from 3:30PM to 4:30PM. The meeting notes from the Commission meeting will be posted on-line by mid-July. The Showcase went very well with 21 performers and presenters taking the stage. Eighty potential community and agency “buyers” were in attendance and met individually with the performers in an adjacent vendor’s area.
NOTE: Resource Directories from the Showcase detailing the performances and contact information for the presenters are available for $10 each by contacting the state Commission office. The Directory also contains advertisements placed by groups and individuals not able to perform personally in this June Showcase.
- On June 6th I traveled to Bozeman to present a Bicentennial update to the Tourism Advisory Council (the group that advises Travel Montana, the Promotion Division of the Montana Department of Commerce). During this meeting the topic of in-state marketing received a considerable amount of discussion. The general consensus of those in attendance was that such an in-state marketing effort in 2005 should focus on Montana’s Bicentennial.
FOLLOW-UP: On June 21st I met with Betsy Baumgart, the Director of Travel Montana, a rep from Travel Montana’s advertising agency, and the Explore! the Big Sky marketing reps and event leadership to discuss how to enhance that event’s in-state marketing presence. Strategies and timelines were outlined, and some funding commitments made by Travel Montana that will facilitate Explore! moving forward on their advance event ticket sales campaign.
- A new Lewis & Clark “Native Plants Exhibit” opened on June 10th at the Montana Historical Society. The exhibit includes some of the original plant specimens collected by the Expedition in Montana 200 years ago. An exhibit reception and program featuring Jack Taylor was held that evening.
- The on-going effort to provide for public safety during Montana’s Bicentennial took a positive turn on June 25th when Senator Conrad Burns announced that the Senate, as a part of its larger Defense Budget, approved $2.4M for the Montana National Guard to perform its appropriate role in safety and security of visitors who come to Montana for the Bicentennial. The Defense Appropriations Bill will now go to a joint House-Senate committee for reconciliation.
- On a very somber note, I attended a grave-side service on June 11th for Clete Daily who passed away recently from cancer. Clete was a charter member of the Lewis & Clark County Bicentennial Commission. One of Clete’s favorite L&C projects was the new “Two Camps Vista” interpretive overlook at Devil’s Elbow currently under construction. Clete will be missed!
- Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign News: Amy Sullivan was recently hired as the new Director of the Montana History Foundation, the fiscal agent for the campaign. I have known Amy for a number of years and think she will do a great job in that position. Also during June I followed up with Lyle Knight, the new CEO of First Interstate Bank, regarding additional contacts that might be made with both the BNSF and Plum Creek. The state Commission continues to manage the Legacy Campaign as pledge payments and prospect follow-up dictate.
- I was on the road from June 15 to the 18th:
- On June 15th I drove from Bozeman to Billings, and en-route made visits to the new L&C Challenge Course located at the Museum of the Rockies on the Montana State University campus, and the new Native Plant Garden at the Crazy Mountain Museum at Big Timber. Great new attractions! Once in Billings I was a host on-board a special BNSF passenger train from Billings to Pompeys Pillar where 300 folks joined this afternoon cruise. Profits from ticket sales will be split between the Clark on the Yellowstone Signature Event and the Montana Historical Society.
- On June 16th I visited the offices of Senator Burns and Baucus in Billings prior to driving to a meeting of the Undaunted Stewardship Advisory Committee at the Mission Ranch 10 miles East of Livingston. This program is really making great strides with new ranchers becoming certified, select land stewardship projects being completed, and new Lewis & Clark interpretive signs being established.
- June 17th was the meeting of the state Commission in Livingston, and the first day of the two-day Lewis & Clark Performing Arts Showcase.
- Senate Bronze Legacy Project Update:
- The artist has now completed the design for the medallions (the same image will be on both the bronze and silver limited editions).
- A sales and marketing brochure is now being printed and will be soon mailed to 8,000 plus names compiled from databases from the Montana Historical Society and state Commission. Sales of the limited edition medallions ($300/each for the 25 silver, and $80/each for the 1,000 bronze) will significantly underwrite the overall Legacy project. It is anticipated that sales of the miniature bronzes of the Senate Chamber bas-relief ($3,500/each for 75 pieces) will commence in September. Interested persons should contact the state Commission office or call the Montana Historical Society at 406-444-2694.
- The July, 2004 issue of the ‘journal notes’ newsletter was drafted. It will be printed and mailed in early July.
- The state Commission is partnering with the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation to provide some Montana lapel pins and brochures to attendees at the National Lt. Governor’s Conference in Big Sky the first week in July.
- I was again on the road in late June:
- June 25th - I traveled to the Hardy Bridge between Helena and Great Falls to watch a rehearsal of Project Bandaloop, the aerial danced troupe planning to perform a special Bicentennial program from this bridge in July, 2005.
- June 26th- traveled to Twin Bridges to participate in the dedication of their new L&C Interpretive Park (complete with a new bronze Sacagawea statue) in the Madison County Fairgrounds. Approx. 200 local people were in attendance. This is a great local project that will truly be a legacy beyond the Bicentennial.
- June 30th – traveled to Lame Deer, MT with Darrell Martin to present a Bicentennial Update to the MT/WY Tribal Leaders Council.
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