For the first time on our AKA Corner piece in KiteLife, I’m pulling double duty so I’m just sharing the president’s letter sent out to AKA members via email last month.
As we head into the holiday season, I want to extend my best wishes to all of you out there in kite land… It’s impossible to get out and meet every AKA member face to face, but I’ve had a lot of time with so many of you – as a longtime flier and kite lover myself, I see you all as family by extension and I’m proud to be a part of this organization with you.
The AKA was founded in 1964 by an assortment of people who could easily have been considered eccentric or childish for their interest in kiting during the 60s, many of whom were brilliant and respected professionals in various fields including aeronautics… They loved kites, loved them enough to create an entire organization dedicated to connecting fliers around the world and facilitating their efforts toward advancing and sharing kiting in all its many colors.
The world has changed a great deal since then, but the mission statement of the AKA endures…
The overall purpose of the Association shall be to educate the public in the art, history, technology, and practice of building and flying kites; to advance kiting, its joys and its values, in all nations.
To that end, the Association shall work to:
Share information about kiting and provide avenues of communication among kiters.
Promote kiting as a rewarding form of art, sport, utility and scientific study for all ages.
Facilitate coordination and planning of kiting activities.
Provide an international educational resource for the development of kiting.
Maintain historic records of kite studies, activities and achievements.
Seek interchange with kite associations worldwide.
We have approximately 2,300 members worldwide as of last count… Many outdoor activities (sports, camping, traveling, etc) have been heavily impacted by the sociological, economical and technological changes we’ve seen over the past 15-20 years, but we are in the continuing process of re-evaluating how we can successfully connect with, appeal to and service all generations from both the kiting community and general public.
I’m not going to talk much about our membership benefits or all the cool stuff we have for sale this time around, so instead we’ll focus on the year to come and what we may be able to manifest on the horizon as a global team of kite fliers… As a volunteer organization, we are in many ways a summation of kiting in North America with our committees and the AKA board of directors made up entirely of members like yourself, most of whom are regional directors that were elected by the members in your region.
What are we talking about right now?
- Enhancing the educational focus (workshops, etc), public outreach and attendee experience at convention.
- Adjusting the sport kite competition format so it’s less time consuming and more enjoyable for all involved.
- Improving the quality of our Grand National competition awards, starting in Seaside (Oregon) next October.
- Updating some of the older manuals and guides in our library with modern information and web resources.
- Improving the web site with easier browsing and more content for facilitating new kite fliers or the general public.
You’ll find that I often speak out of turn, but the AKA decides on and implements any new ideas with the collective logic of all those involved… The folks on our Board of Directors and in volunteer positions are good people, all expert and passionate in their respective skills so please don’t hesitate to contact your local representatives with ideas, feedback and equally important, your support.
You’ll find some important news and upcoming projects you might be interested in below, including the chance to win free registration to our 2013 convention in Seaside, OR!
ATTN: AKA Sport Kite Competitors
Please note, Program Precision was approved by the AKA Board of Directors sometime last year and will be the chosen precision format for AKAGN in Seaside next year… While it’s not a perfect solution, Program Precision does reduce the operating time by roughly 30% which should free up more time for free flying, public outreach, seminars, workshops, demos and other supporting activities.
You can find details for Program Precision in AKA Appendix v2.7:
IMPORTANT: This change does NOT apply to any class of pair/team or novice individual competitors, all of whom will still be competing under the “traditional” precision format.
AKA Convention Logo Contest
We are now accepting logo submissions for our 2013 AKA annual convention in Seaside, OR – this is a chance for you to showcase your artistic skills and earn a FREE registration to convention if your submission is selected as the winner.
I encourage you to look at some of the previous logos on our website for inspiration:
Logo Submission Guidelines
*** Deadline: January 15th ***
The logo must be created by an AKA member who may be either a professional or an amateur.
The logo needs to be in a Vector, PDF, JPEG, or TIFF format. It is used on convention patches, pins, shirts, and other items. It must look good on formats from 1” to 10” and must be scalable and suitable for many uses. A maximum of four colors may be used but the logo must look good in both full color and in black and white.
The design MUST incorporate the red AKA logo as well as the convention year, city, and state. The designer may be required to submit alternate versions.
Note: A good portion of the chosen design may be left out to get the stitch count down on embroidered items.
Please submit original designs, including contact information for the designer, in electronic format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
AKA Video Trailers
We are currently working on the concept for two new AKA video “trailers” – one short and one long, showing ALL genres of kiting at their best, easily displayed on the AKA or any other website (easy YouTube or Vimeo embed will be available)… The idea is to provide a more moving representation of the AKA and everything kiting has to offer on our home page, and to make these resources available to our members as well as affiliated clubs and merchants for the general promotion of kiting.
If you have a collection of good HIGH DEF video, we’re looking for premium 30 second video clips to edit and use in this project:
- Inflatable show kites
- Fighter kites / rokkaku
- Sport and quad kite flying
- Kitemaking and workshops
- Kids at play (Bol races, candy drops, etc)
- Amazed spectators with kites in background
- Unusual kite scenes that capture attention
- Etc, etc, etc.
We could really use your help with this, and we’re asking you to please upload your 30 second video clips at no smaller than 720p resolution – either to www.YouTube.com or www.Vimeo.com and then send the video link(s) to us via:
videoproject [at] aka.kite.org
Reminder, this is will be a short video when completed and we’ll only be using small samples from some of the submissions, so 30 second clips of “pure gold” kite moments and landscapes are key – stunning visual presence in a short burst.
We can’t include all submissions, but if we use your footage you will receive full credit for your contribution at the end of the video.
Ways you can get connected with the AKA online
Ask questions about kites, the AKA or whatever’s on your mind in the KiteTalk forum…
Or on the social scene…
That’s all I’ve got for now, we look forward to your artistic submissions!
Regards and good winds,