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Yellowstone County Lewis & Clark Commission
Meeting Minutes
November 18, 2003

Members present: Victoria Hammond, Terry Inderland, Don James, Diane Svee, Jeff Dietz, Armand Lohof, Jim Van Arsdale, Daniel Krum, Robbie Carpenter, Chuck Cook, Melody Dobson, and Sharon Peterson.

Jeff announced that there will be articles about the bicentennial in Horizon Air magazine (Jan./Feb.), and Home and Away (March/April Triple A).

YCLCBC Retreat: Jeff received a thank you from Sandy Blake of Big Timber for the meeting. The participants thought it was worthwhile. There were 220 ideas generated. Melody Dobson said these will be printed up for everyone. She stated that Terry Inderland did a god job of facilitating the meeting.

A Day in the Life of the Yellowstone: Terry Inderland, Jeff Dietz, Chuck Cook, Victoria Hammond and Dan Krum met yesterday. The project has been laid out. The museum director, Robert Knight, only wants one show of the best photographs (not one in each community). The exhibit will probably be in 2005. We have funding of $1,000 from Conoco/Phillips. A grant application to the Montana Bicentennial Commission will be submitted. The committee thinks $100,000 is needed to successfully complete the project.

Coordinator's Report: Melody said she and Robbie have been working on networking and timelines this past month. We are partnering with Treasure Trails Girl Scout Council to develop a street game for use at events like the Strawberry Festival. We hope to involve other scouts from along the corridor. We have been invited to the 2004 Strawberry Festival. The retreat was successful. Hardin and Laurel are working on interpretive signs. PPL money is coming in annually. Our website has been updated. We need a Clark's Signature Week committee to plan events. Robbie asked if last year's committee would continue. They will meet Tuesday, November 25 at noon. Grant applications are due by December 10. Jeff added that the PPL monies are needed now. The last amounts will arrive after the bicentennial. Melody pointed out that we've already identified discovery points for the Montana grant. Jim Van Arsdale suggested that a sign is needed on the interstate to direct travelers to the Chamber of Commerce. This is available through the Montana Department of Transportation.

Travel Montana: Robbie and Melody went to Helena yesterday. Great Falls has a press kit to release in three weeks. They are working to create public awareness in their community. They are stenciling logos on streets; city vehicles will have logos and they have created placemats for restaurants. Tickets for their event will go on sale in March. They are providing shuttle service between Great Falls and Fort Benton.

The Invite a Friend will include a letter from the governor stressing the bicentennial. There are national tourism conventions. Montana has received 250 requests for information on Lewis and Clark tours. The Governor's Conference on Tourism is April 4-6 in Billings. The Signature Events have the opening presentation of 45 minutes. There will be a tour to Pompeys Pillar in the afternoon. Sharon Peterson said that we need media assistance. Melody mentioned that Great Falls is using Bannock Communications. We'll address the media issue in January.

Falls of the Ohio and national council: Jim Van Arsdale reported that 100,000 people attended the 14-day event. The final day featured the launch of the keel boat and the red pirogue with 3,000 people watching. There were too many speakers at event. Jim mentioned that there weren't enough food or beverage vendors. There was little music. He did hear positive comments on a school musical. He described the set up of Corps II. The BLM tent had surveying with people in period costumes using the instruments similar to those used on the expedition. The program for the signature event had been printed six months in advance so there were many errors. There was no signage to direct visitors and the events were scattered around the area.

Web Page: Robbie and Melody met with Jamie from the county offices. The page will be brighter. Melody and Robbie will be trained to post information. Sharon suggested that we have an e-mail newsletter for city council members, commissioners and others.

Financial Report: Terry Inderland reported that we have $2,900 for general expenses; $2,400 for the signature event and $2,900 for signs and advertisements. Jeff and Terry will try to meet with Bill Kennedy about finances.

Grant Opportunities: Melody listed the grant applications and deadlines. Don James asked if Great Falls had a paid media person. He wondered if there was a grant for marketing. Robbie is researching this. Sharon mentioned that a new marketing firm is coming to Billings.

Banner Project: Jeff said the idea continues. He is hoping to interest Optimists in the project.

The Montana Lewis and Clark Conference will be in the spring in Livingston. It will be a one-day meeting. There are no monies for this conference. Several people wondered what its purpose might be.

Jeff mentioned the Crow National Cultural Show on November 28 and 29 at the Metra. He asked commissioners to support the Native American efforts.

Sharon suggested that we develop a marketing plan. Then we could go to professional firms to see if they might donate their expertise.

Melody requested $500 to $1,000 to underwrite the t-shirts as a fund raising project.

Dan Krum said the transition committee for the Legacy Campaign will meet on December 3 in Helena. He attended the Vigilante Players spoof on Clark and Lewis. They charge $1400 plus expenses for a performance.

Sharon attended the Celebrate Billings meeting with leaders in Billings. Thursday, November 20, a meeting on "Visioning Billings" will be held from 8 to noon at the Deaconess.

Jim mentioned that a couple from Montana brought a bronze to Louisville for the event. A spot in Clarksville was selected for the statue.

The meeting was adjourned. There may be a meeting in December. Jeff will contact members.  

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