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Director's Report September, 2003
Fundraising Campaign Update:The campaign received a major boost in September as PPL made the announcement in Great Falls on September 10th, that they would pledge $100,000. Great news! These funds are earmarked for interpretive signage on, or immediately adjacent to their river corridor property. The first installment has already been made, and preliminary plans underway for where these first monies will be invested. As mentioned last month a large fundraising cultivation event will be held in Billings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 2nd at the Yellowstone Art Museum. The Coordinating Committee met in Helena on Wednesday, September 24th to discuss the campaign’s progress. It was agreed to initiate an aggressive year-end direct mail effort to secure donations from businesses and individuals. Interested persons can contact the Legacy Campaign Office anytime at: 406-457-9080. Work continues in the solicitation of large corporate campaign donors, as well as applications being submitted to key foundations. A more detailed report will be given at the state Commission meeting in Lewistown on October 1st.
- Publicity Update:
- The Commission’s new statewide Publicity/PR Program Outline came closer to reality with the identification of TV and Print media programs to be accessed. This new program will be more fully explained in Lewistown’s October Commission meeting.
- On September 9th I traveled to Great Falls to be interviewed by both the local NBC and ABC affiliates. My focus was primarily the upcoming Fall Conference.
- On September 23rd I was interviewed via phone by the Lewistown Argus newspaper.
- And, on Thursday, September 25th I was interviewed by the KXLO radio station in Lewistown, and by the KTVH TV station in Helena. Both were for the annual Fall Lewis & Clark conference to be held on October 2-3rd.
- Throughout the month of September I communicated with the Governor’s Office regarding the three upcoming vacancies on the state Commission. We anticipate an announcement during the Lewistown conference pertaining to re-appointment and/or new appointments.
- In a previous Director’s Report I reported that the National Park Service had been in contact with our Commission office regarding some Challenge Cost Share monies unclaimed from their FY’01 program ($10,000). In September we got yet another call regarding $5,000 that was unclaimed from their FY’00 CCS program. Time was of the essence, but we were able to complete the necessary paperwork to secure those funds. The end result is that the FY’03 Corridor Signing Project in Montana (which involves five Montana Regional Commissions) will now be funded at $25,000, rather than at the $20,000 level announced by the NPS this past Spring.
- Thanks to Hugh Ambrose, the President of Ambrose and Ambrose, Inc., Montana’s 22-minute “Lewis & Clark: Montana’s Story” video will soon be available at retail outlets. The late Stephen Ambrose was interviewed for this project, and very graciously agreed to allow the Montana Superhost Program to use the resulting video for educational purposes. In the very near future we are hopeful that hundreds, if not thousands, of people will be able to better understand the essential details of the Lewis & Clark story in Montana by viewing the video.
- Much of Rita’s and my time in September was focused on the multitude of details of staging the 5th Annual Lewis & Clark Conference in Lewistown. The conference brochure is now on the Commission’s website, or you can call 406-443-2109 for details.
- The Grants Committee submitted their suggestions for change this month. With the state Commission’s approval, the results of their input will formulate the grant guidelines for the 2004 programs. No significant changes are anticipated. The application deadline will be in mid-December; grant awards will be announced at the Commission’s February, 2004 meeting. Look for the revised guidelines and application forms to be on-line soon after the Lewistown Commission meeting.
- On September 10th I was in Great Falls to officially accept the Legacy Campaign contribution from PPL on behalf of the Campaign and state Commission. At noon I had lunch with Carol Bronson and Rebecca Young with the Trail Heritage Foundation. Immediately following our discussions over food, they showed me the Foundation’s new “Stewardship Video” featuring Rob Quist and Jack Gladstone. This is a great piece! The message of “pack it in… pack it out” is very appropriate to the long-term health of the Trail.
NOTE: While in the Great Falls area that day I took the opportunity for an area tour with local resident and Lewis & Clark expert, Don Peterson. What an experience! I thought I knew all about the portage, but I didn’t. Don drove me around the south and east sides of Great Falls and showed me the scope of the expedition’s travels. I would strongly suggest groups visiting Great Falls or other segments of the trail, take advantage of this type of local “step-on guide” service. Local experts can add a great deal to one’s experience (check the Commission’s Resource Library for the newly created database of Montana Step-On Guides).
- I traveled to East Glacier, Browning and Cut Bank on Thursday, September 11th to check on some projects financed in part with Commission funds and to visit with the Blackfeet Tribe regarding their Bicentennial planning. The grant projects are all coming along nicely, and it was very interesting and encouraging to learn that the Blackfeet are planning some interpretive trails and a possible commemorative event in the summer of 2006 to mark their encounter with Captain Lewis. While in Browning I also attended the grand opening of the Native Waters Exhibit, complete with a great video produced under the leadership of the Commission’s own Darrell Kipp. This exhibit stresses the relationship between men and nature’s water resource, and will tour hopefully many tribal and non-tribal venues over the next few months. Contact Native Waters at MSU, or contact the state Commission office for more information.
- Last month I reported that the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) was very interested in assisting in the Lewis & Clark education effort. During September they launched a new Lewis & Clark educational resource page on their OPI web site. It looks great, and will I’m sure be a great tool allowing teachers a “one-stop” resource for locating appropriate teaching tools such as curriculums, videos and text books. Thanks OPI! Tell any teachers you may see!
- On September 18th I presented a Bicentennial Update to the Governor’s Conference on Aging at the Colonial Inn in Helena.
- On Friday, September19th I presented a similar update to the annual meeting of the Western Environmental Trade Association (WETA) in Bigfork, Montana.
- And, on September 23rd I participated via a conference call in a planning meeting of the April 29-May 1, 2005, “Lewis & Clark at the Confluence” event. Diane Brandt was very recently hired to be the event coordinator, which will facilitate an accelerated pace of planning for this event.
- The Senate Art Advisory Group for the State Lewis & Clark Legacy Project met in Helena on Monday, September 29th to review the proposed theme guidelines and to pare the list of potential artists down to six finalists. In mid-June 72 Request for Qualifications were sent out, and by the August 13th deadline 19 artists had submitted proposals. The final product will be a large bronze bas-relief art piece to be hung in the Montana Senate Chambers. A summer, 2005 completion/dedication date has been projected.
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