I was fortunate to partner with the Detroit Kite Festival for my impact project. Detroit Kite Festival uplifts kite flying and creation as a platform for radical inclusion, communal play, shared healing, and the celebration of culture and history. It is a true community event in Detroit that began with a pitch at the Belle Isle SOUP. Margo Dalal, the founder of the Detroit Kite Festival and my liaison for this project, won this community grant in 2016. The inaugural Detroit Kite Festival was a success, with over 3,000 attendees on Belle Isle throughout the day. I wanted to be involved in making the second year of the Detroit Kite Festival successful and leverage the skills that I’ve learned in Challenge Detroit to capture meaningful community feedback.

My design question: How might we capture meaningful feedback from Detroit Kite Festival attendees in an interactive and creative way?


During the first stages of my project, were a few remarkable stories that I heard while collecting interviews. For example, Sara is planning to start a kite festival in her community. She was inspired by her experience at the first Detroit Kite Festival before moving across the country to Seattle. While visiting a park in her new neighborhood, she happened upon other kite flyers – who turned out to be the kite suppliers for the Detroit Kite Festival. What a small world! As Sara explained her story, she said, “I was inspired by going to the Detroit Kite Festival. There’s no reason why I can’t collaborate with them [kite suppliers in Seattle] to put something on in my community that so many people enjoyed in Detroit.”

The Detroit Kite Festival took place on Sunday, July 15. I had three specific avenues to collect information from attendees.

First, I had two jars and a pile of buttons on the welcome table. I asked visitors to put a button into the appropriate jar – one said “live in Detroit” and the other, “live elsewhere.” This activity allowed for children to put the buttons in for their family members, started the conversation with visitors, and provided a means to collect data. Out of the number of attendees who stopped by the table, there were 249 people who live in Detroit and 335 people who live elsewhere.

Second, I did surveys. Walking around with clipboards, I worked with a few volunteers to ask attendees for their feedback. With over 180 completed surveys, we gained information about how people found out about the festival, what they did, how old they were, who they came with, their favorite part, any recommendations for improvement, and their contact information.

Third, I designed an interactive rating system, pictured below. I invited attendees to rate their experience – on a scale from highly agree to highly disagree – based on five key statements. The statements included:
1) My needs were met
2) Easy to navigate
3) Plenty to do
4) I felt included
5) Would recommend

It was great to work with Margo, the Detroit Kite Festival organizers, and the volunteer kite crew at the event. This was an amazing project, I learned so much about event planning, communications and marketing, volunteer recruitment, and community feedback. My favorite part of the Detroit Kite Festival was the ability to contribute to a collective, inclusive, and holistic festival in Detroit. Here are a few other responses from the survey –

My favorite part about the Detroit Kite Festival is…

Its exists

Folks rolling up their sleeves and making and flying kites together. Inclusive.

Unusual family friendly activity

Seeing our kids fly kites, being able to try out nice kites, and seeing professionals fly kites

The people and it is magical

Being here

Sense of community

It’s so spiritual


The creative, positive atmosphere

Diversity of attendees

That so many people come together to fly kites! People helping others getting kites in the air.

Belle Isle

See the sky full of kites

You show repairs, do new kites, give books to kids