We would like to nominate Archie Stewart for The Steve Edeiken Memorial Kiteflier of the Year Award.
Since retiring from a career in telecommunications, Archie has devoted this phase of his life to introducing kite flying and the joy of making a kite to as many kids and adults as he can reach out to. He does kite making workshops, demonstrations and displays in countless schools, libraries, and museums through out the New England area. He has created a number of ongoing local kite festivals, working with local civic organizations, in Marblehead, Dennis, Yarmouth, Barnstable, and Wenham and working with such diverse groups as the Wenham Council of Aging, the Fenway Alliance of Boston Museum’s “Open Our Doors” program, Cherry Valley, New York Arts Festival, the Lynn Arts Association’s inner city program, Jimmy Fund Family picnic, and Crotched Mountain Family Day.
Archie’s involvement with The Jimmy Fund picnic and The Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center in NH, are the most rewarding events that local kite clubs and fliers participate in. For the past 7 years he has brought the joy of making a kite and flying a kite to the brain injured and the mentally impaired residents of The Crotched Mountain School. Archie has developed inclusionary methods, including pushing wheelchairs while the residents ride with a kite in hand around in the gymnasium to enable children who otherwise could not fly their kites. The students at the school were so grateful to Archie that they elected Archie the keynote speaker for their graduation in 2009.
Archie has also appeared on the premier season of the PBS show “Fetch with Ruff Ruffman ”, which features real kids taking on science projects assigned by an animated dog, Ruff Ruffman. Archie demonstrated his expertise with flying, and challenged the kids to create something that flies accurately enough to land on a specified target.
While doing workshops, Archie discusses the history, geography and mathematics of kites. Archie has won AKA awards for his indoor and outdoor precision flying and demonstrates this ability at the workshops. He would awe the students with his expert single line and quad line demonstrations. Then encourages the surprised students that they too can fly a kite indoors. Archie has an encouraging and supportive manner about him that helps the children and adults enjoy learning about and flying kites. It’s all about the smile on a kids face. As Archie says “If the wind is in your face, your in the wrong place.”
Archie is one of the most respected kite flyers in New England. He is an Eastern League Champion and the winner of the Newport Cup for the highest scoring champion at the Newport Kite Festival. He was nominated and won the first Jef ‘Sarge’ Cleaves Award. An award given out by Kites Over New England to the person who best represents the spirit of kiting as represented by Sarge Cleaves. Archie has been the event organizer of several KONE Regional competitions, and has served on the judging panel of numerous other local and regional events. He has competed at the national level and has succeeded in becoming a Master Flier.
Archie has also been the subject of a documentary film. “The Kite Man”, A documentary film on the work of Archie Stewart, master kiter and educator. Directed by Omonike Akinyemi and produced by Image Quilt Productions. The film was screened at The Star Theater on Saturday May 28, 2011 in Cherry Valley, New York as part of the Sennight Film Festival. The film can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=lDX2i6EC1tI
He continues to spread the word of kiting whether it be creating museum displays or jumping up on stage to sing with the choir at the Lynn Arts Festival event, where KONE, every year, makes hundreds of kites free for the inner city children of Lynn with kite making supplies provided by Archie.
In March 2011, Archie worked with Barbara Birnman, along with countless others to help coordinate a tribute to Margo Brown at “The 2011 Indoor Fly at the National Air and Space Museum”. This was an event that Archie felt privileged to be apart of.
We, the undersigned would like to place in nomination, Archie Stewart, for The Steve Edeiken Memorial Kiteflier of the Year Award. Archie Stewart is the person that best exemplifies his love and shares this passion for kites that Steve Edeiken had.
John DiMatteo, MA
Hank Manseau, ME
We would like to 2nd the nomination of Archie Stewart for The Steve Edeiken Memorial Kiteflier of the Year Award.
I feel privileged to know Archie Stewart. His passion for kite flying and his concern for kiters of all abilities make him a star. I have seen him perform a Master’s routine in competition and go straight to teaching utter novices how to assemble their little plastic kite. There is no one I know that exemplifies the principles of The Steve Edeiken Award
better than Archie Stewart. A love of kites, a passion to share all that is good and worthwhile about kite flying, the ability to communicate, in words and deeds the history and fun of kites, this is Archie. Every person that meets this man, comes away a little better for having done so. Children who believe that they can’t, have been shown they can. Every time I have the chance to help Archie conduct a workshop, I learn something. What more can I say? Archie is a great person and kite flyer and deserves every award.
Ralph Reed, MA
Don McCasland, MA
I have had the great pleasure of working with Archie on many events from a small local fly to large events like the Boston Kite Festival and BASKC. Archie brings an abundance of enthusiasm and energy to all the events I see him at. He always puts others first and he gets his pleasure from making them happy. He succeeds repeatedly with kids and adults of any age and character.
Archie is most deserving of the The Steve Edeiken Memorial Kiteflier of the Year Award Award because he is so humble. He works hard to make everyone at an event have a good time from planner to field assistant to participant. He does it so well that it looks like he is just having a good time and helping others to have a good time. That mild manner combined with his strong passion makes him an excellent ambassador of kiting.
Archie helps all aspects of the sport. He promotes and supports kite stores by involving them in events and sending kiters to shop there. He promotes specific kites he especially enjoys and gives the manufacturers valuable input as well as encouragement. He competes and he helps and encourages others to compete. He not only teaches people of all ages how to build kites, he also helps them repair kites and keep them flying well.
I also agree with all the sentiments and points made by the others submitting this nomination. There is a lot of duplication because Archie has such dynamic personality and kite charisma that we each want to point it out. Please show Archie how much the AKA appreciates his contributions to kiting by presenting him with this award.
Don McCasland, Program Director at Blue Hill Observatory
2012-14 President of Kites Over New England