Issue 73: AKA Corner

American Kiteflier’s Got Talent!

Have you noticed that kites seem to be everywhere lately? Several commercials feature kites, not always accurately, but there! Connor Doran’s appearance on America’s Got Talent brought new attention to modern kiting. Many people have contacted the AKA and local kite clubs wanting more information about kites. We all have our fingers crossed that he is invited back as a Wild Card. If you haven’t seen his performance yet, you can watch the videos on YouTube:

The National Governor’s Association was welcomed to Boston by kites flying over the site. Congratulations to Seaside Kites for putting on a great show. Did you know that Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is a kite flyer, and now, one of the newest members of the AKA.

Coming to a news stand near you is the September issue of Popular Mechanics with a kite plan feature on an entire page. The plan is for a rhomboid box to be built from Tyvek and wood dowels. The plan is designed to be built in an afternoon. Be sure to check out the article, and build the kite!

The first winner of the Great Kite Raffle for the banner has been chosen. Duane Beitmen of Florida was very surprised to receive my phone call notifying him of his win.

The second item, a pair of 15 ft spiky balls, is now open. Again, tickets are only $5 each. This item has been donated by Gomberg Kite Productions Inc. If the minimum number of tickets has been sold, the winner will be drawn on October 11 at the opening reception of the Seaside convention. This is a great opportunity to add a very special attention getting item to your collection.

Have you registered for convention? The early bird rate is in effect until August 14. After that date, the fee goes up. If you are a competitor, check the standings to see if you have qualified.

If you don’t compete, you’ll have time to relax, visit with friends, make some new ones, fly lots of kites, spend a little in the Fly Mart, attend the workshops, do the mass ascensions, participate in the challenges and test some of the great restaurants in Seaside. Oh, just a minute, even if you compete you’ll be able to do all that! The beaches are huge with room for everyone. Fun activities are planned for each day. One day will be “wear your oldest kite tee shirt”; another day will be a happi coat challenge. Watch the website for more details. As always, a great schedule has been put together of workshops for your education and enjoyment. Each day there will be 6 different workshops. All are included as part of your registration fee. Get your kite pin collection ready for the challenge. Don’t worry about how many, think about an innovative way to display it. Oh, and miniature kites will be flying around the challenge room. Who will have the smallest this year? How small will it be?

The art kite fly will take place on Friday afternoon. Everyone is invited to bring their favorite art kite, made by his/her favorite kite artist and fly during the event. In addition, for the first time, we have an art kite challenge, “Rites of Passage”. Build a kite, any style, any size, any material, and get it to convention. If you cannot attend, find a friend that is, and get your kite flown. This is not a competition, just a chance to expand your horizons as an artist and kite builder. Come see the fabulous creations.

The AKA continues to face many financial challenges. Each year, the insurance premium is over $24,000. Sanctioning fees cover only $8000 of that. Without insurance, many festivals would not take place. To purchase insurance in the open marketplace would be cost prohibitive for most clubs. This is a huge benefit offered by the AKA to assist local clubs and festivals. Without insurance, most would not be able to take place. Your assistance is needed to help us cover the cost. All donations are appreciated, whether they are $5 or $500. All make a difference. If you can donate, please go the website, and click on the Donations button. Checks also enthusiastically welcomed.

Have you been to the Club House lately? Included and filed under Digital Kiting is a brand new article featuring international festivals. This is an extra that couldn’t fit in the printed version of Kiting. Look for the 2009 spring PDF, and enjoy. We hope to do more extras for members only in the future.

The AKA website is being totally revamped. Watch for its debut in the near future. Expect big changes with new features, easier to navigate, more pictures. Thanks to John Gillespie for taking on the duties of webmaster, and for all his hard work. Thanks also go out to Susan Skinner for tackling a huge part of the work. Each AKA member will receive an email notification when it is up and running.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me via email. I look forward to hearing from you

Time to fly!

Barbara Meyer
AKA president
president [at]