Several auspicious things happened during this period of development: 1989 was the Washington State’s 100th birthday and with this celebration came an initiative focused on developing museums and history preserving organizations. There were many workshops offered by the state to encourage upgrading and fostering museums. Our developing museum board picked areas that interested them and attended. We learned about how to run a gift shop, accession artifacts, write a mission statement, goals, and objectives, recommended storage techniques, 501 c 3 status – all these topics of importance to an new museum organization.
Also in 1989 the David Checkley’s widow donated his collection of 700 Japanese, Chinese and Malaysian kites to the World Kite Museum. The 300 Japanese kites in the collection are considered the most complete collection of Japanese kites outside of Japan.
Our first exhibit, “The History of Kites in Washington State”, was a week long affair in the Long Beach City Council rooms during the 1989 Washington State International Kite Festival. This same year a famous Japanese kite maker Eiji Ohashi also brought kite-making materials to Long Beach. With the help of World Kite Museum volunteers every child at Long Beach Elementary made a flyable Japanese kite. The Museum had begun with an exhibit, a unique kite display on the beach, and a school kite making class.