On November 3rd I met with Tom Cook, the Publicity Coordinator of the Montana Historical Society, to strategize about PR ideas to: promote the on-going sales of the L&C license plate; to highlight Montana’s many new interpretive signs; to announce the commemorative issue of the Montana highway map; and to strengthen ticket sales for the Explore! the Big Sky signature event.
On November 11th I was interviewed on the local access TV station in Helena
On November 12th I was interviewed by the Oregonian newspaper re: Bicentennial planning in-state
During the month the November, 2004 issue of the journal notes newsletter was drafted, printed and mailed.
On November 4th the Transition Committee of the state Commission met to discuss future funding needs, staffing and a timeline of duties for the Commission through the remainder of the Bicentennial. The minutes of the 11/4 meeting (including the committee’s recommendations), and the subsequent actions of the Executive Committee and full Commission are posted on the state Commission’s website at: www.montanalewisandclark.org/commission/minutesandagendas.htm. The Transition Committee will make a report at the Commission’s February 15th meeting.
Rita worked this past month with the state Commission’s Grants Committee and legal counsel to update and modify the Grant Applications and Guidelines for O&P and Program Grants for 2005. These revised documents will be mailed to Regional Commissions, Tribes and specific other grants recipients the first week of December.
Much of November was consumed with Corps II community host site follow-up visits. I traveled with Pat Jones, the Corps II Chief of Interpretation, to the following locations:
November 9 – Dillon
November 11 – Hamilton
November 12 – Lolo
November 16 – Bozeman and Helena
November 17 – Glasgow (conference call)
November 18-19 – Great Falls and Fort Benton
During these meetings Pat reviewed in detail the planning process necessary to prepare for Corps II programming, set-up logistics and overall community involvement. Pat will return to Montana in early January to join me in making visits to Montana’s 2005 Indian host communities (Fort Peck, Rocky Boys and Fort Belknap). I will make follow-up contacts with the 2006 host sites via phone during December, and Pat will make personal visits to those sites in early to mid- 2005.
NOTE: During November it was officially announced that Montana’s own Darrell Martin would serve as the interim American Indian Liaison for Corps II while Dick Basch is recovery from surgery. Darrell plans to remain a member of the state Bicentennial Commission.
On November 10th I was invited to attend a promotion ceremony for LTC. Jonathan Jackson. Jonathan is now a full Colonel with the Montana National Guard. Congrats! With his new rank, COL Jackson has assumed new duties, but will remain my main contact for Lewis & Clark-related matters. Plans call for the naming of a “Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Coordinator” within the MT Guard in the near future to communicate with local communities, agencies and Tribes.
The inter-agency Bicentennial Focus Team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI) met in Great Falls on Friday, November 19th. Of specific interest was the partnership and interaction of national and state agencies with the Explore! the Big Sky National Signature event. The MTRI Focus Team agreed to jointly present a vendor display area on the Great Falls fairgrounds, and to coordinate agency programming both for Corps II’s Tent of Many Voices and a special “agency venue.”
Mark Sherouse, the Executive Director of the Montana for the Humanities, announced this month that his Humanities Committee was recently honored with the Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize for Excellence in Public Programming for their partnership with the Montana Bicentennial Commission on the 2005 Confluence of Cultures Symposium. This award was given by the Federation of State Humanities Councils at a luncheon ceremony recently in Washington, DC.
The Education Committee of the state Commission met in Helena on Monday, November 22nd. It was agreed that the state Commission will partner with the Forestry Division of DNRC and the Office of Public Instruction to plan and implement an Arbor Day event in the Spring of 2005 with hopefully the planning of native trees around the state. Additionally, the promotion of a “Lewis & Clark Day” in Montana schools in the Spring of 2005 was discussed. Jane Weber updated the committee on plans to host a Lewis & Clark Symposium in conjunction with the Explore! the Big Sky event in Great Falls and asked for this committee’s input and support. Committee chair Hal Stearns briefed those in attendance that the US Army Corps of Engineers will be taking the lead in presenting three Lewis & Clark training workshops in Montana in 2005: Billings March 23-24; Missoula April 26-27 or 27-28; and in Great Falls on May 3-4, 2005. Interested persons can contact Ken Wilk with the Corps at: 785-453-2338 or via email at: Kenneth.S.Wilk@nwk02.usace.army.mil. There will not be a fee charged to attend these workshops.
From November 24-29th I was in Seattle to celebrate Thanksgiving with my son and oldest daughter (OK, at the urging of my kids I did some Christmas shopping while in the big city … but not very much; mostly I watched and had my hand on my credit card if needed?!)
In late November I visited with a representative of the Davidson Companies regarding confirmation of their naming opportunities at Pompeys Pillar resulting from the Davidson Company’s $50,000 pledge to the Legacy Campaign.
NOTE: The date of the February meeting of the state Commission was very recently changed due to a conflict of some state Commission members. The meeting will now be on February 15th rather than the original February 8th date. The meeting location is still in auditorium in the Montana Historical Society building.