Greetings from the AKA! By now, you have probably already read about National Kite Month, coming up in late March and all of April, on rec. kites, from your local club, or by AKA bulk e-mail to on-line members. It's going to be a big deal! Lots of local festivals, fun flys, workshops, displays, and other activities. Lots of PR and press releases, and hopefully national attention to festivals in Miami, Maryland, Washington, D.C.; Phoenix, and Berkeley. This is a great opportunity for all of us to promote kite building and kite flying; we have an Official Excuse for enjoying and sharing our passion.
The AKA is partnering with the KTAI, (Kite Trade Association International), to fund a professional firm to handle press releases, staff a NKM hot line for information, and maintain a NKM website for assistance. But we need all kiters to get involved! Let's PROMOTE our hobby!
Here's how YOU can help:
1. Fly kites every chance you get from March 25 through April 30! (This is an Official Order.)
2. Try for some local publicity. How about calling up a local newspaper columnist, when the weather forecast is really nice, and inviting them to go flying with you? When you tell them about National Kite Month, it gives them an Official Reason to go with you, under the guise of "working". Or find out when the photography class meets at the university, and be flying outside the classroom building just afterward. Or call the local TV station to tell them when and where a group of fliers and kites will be on a nice afternoon.
National Kite Month offers them Official Justification for showing you on the six o'clock news!
3. Offer to set up a kite display in a local school, library, YMCA, shopping center, museum, or hospital.
Telling them about National Kite Month gives them an Official Reason to consider it.
4. If you've never made a kite before, do it now. (see offer below)
5. Teach a group of people, kids or adults, how to make simple "sleds". Then go fly them. Do this with a group of friends, neighbors, a school class, adult organization, or whatever, but do it. If you want plans for giving an Official Sled Workshop, drop me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll send you a copy of an article I wrote on this several years ago. If you promise to teach a workshop, I'll send you a sample kite too. (I'll need your snail mail address.) Idea: When you call that school to offer to set up a kite display, offer to teach a teacher's class in kitebuilding. That could spread the gospel fast! You could also tell them about the AKA publication Kites in the Classroom.
6. Attend or organize a kite festival or fun fly! If a festival is planned in your area, go. Fly, but help, too. The more volunteers any event has, the more fun everybody has. If there is no festival in your area, start one! It doesn't have to be elaborate. Find a good flying site, (with permission to use it), pick a date, post it on rec. kites, the AKA website KiteTalk section, and maybe even send out simple one-page invitations to all the AKA members in the area. (Organizers can get mailing labels cheap from the AKA, and specify the geographical area wanted.) Marti and I have hosted some fun events with 40-50 fliers just by mailing out invitations to an Official Open Invitational Kite Fly with No Registration, No Competition, No Entry Fee, and Very Little Organization. If you want to do a more elaborate, structured event, contact NKM and/or get a copy of the AKA Events Manual. (a how-to-put-on-a-festival primer.)
Register Your Local Fly!
7. Contact National Kite Month and tell them about your activity--exhibition, workshop, press coverage, festival, fun fly, or whatever. They may get you additional publicity and/or attendance. Get your activity listed as an Official National Kite Month Endeavor! You can contact NKM by phone at 760-322-4128, by fax at 760-770-0415, or by e-mail at NationalKiteMonth@KiteTrade.org.
8. If you are going to do any of the above, join the AKA. We want to promote kiting. If you want to, too, we want you to join us. Consider this your Official Invitation to Join. Check out our website for membership application information at http://www.aka.kite.org
Here's a new sign-off someone sent this week; I really like it:
May the wind give you enough variety to fly everything in your kite bag!
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