Today we celebrated the opening of The Angel of Route 66 Exhibit. Angel Delgadillo, the Guardian Angel of Route 66, cut the ribbon on this brand-new exhibit all about his impact on Route 66. The project began with StoryFile, which is an interactive multimedia display visitors can use to ask a virtual Angel questions about Route 66 and his life, and he responds in real time.
Featured in a special with Holocaust Survivors on 60 minutes in 2021, StoryFile is an interactive technology used for interviewing people even when they aren’t present. It’s been used in prestigious institutions, such as Japanese American National Museum, and by celebrities like William Shatner. We wanted to use it to bring Angel, who has been interviewed by the media over 1,000 times, straight to the tourist.
To build Angel’s Video that talks back, as StoryFile describes it, a whole crew visited Seligman for several days to interview Angel for 18+ hours, asking him hundreds of questions visitors may be curious to ask. Now, thanks to this technology, you can ask Angel all about Route 66 and his life. He’ll tell you his favorite color, play the saxophone for you, and describe the first Association meeting from 1987.
StoryFile was complete, but it needed a space for display. The area was updated with carpet and lighting and a new wall configuration to make a better user experience.
The Exhibit was designed by Wade Bray, a graphic designer who previously composed an impressive Route 66 themed exhibition at the Route 66 Road Fest hosted in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Kingman, visitors will enjoy historic photos and artifacts, read about Angel’s life and family, and sit for a memorable photo op in a vintage barber chair exactly like one in Angel’s original barber shop.
“We really wanted the exhibit to be the next best thing to visiting Angel’s Barbershop and Gift Shop in Seligman and meeting Angel in person. We hope the exhibit helps more visitors get the ‘Angel Experience’ where visitors leave touched and inspired by this unique experience highlighting a one-of-a-kind individual” says Nikki Seegers with the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona.
The Route 66 Museum inside the Kingman Visitor you tells the chronological history of Route 66. However, it was missing a monumental piece - the rebirth story! So, this experience fills that gap to now tell the whole story of Arizona’s stretch of Route 66.
Opening day for the public was July 27th after 1 pm. The exhibit is free to the public and located on the second floor in the Kingman Visitor Center at 120 W Andy Devine Ave in Kingman. Hours are 9 am – 4 pm daily.