RED WING -- Stories shared by tour guides this summer will become part of an audio archive at Tower View.

That collection of memories and experiences could be used in a variety of ways, according to Anderson Center Development Director Adam Wiltgen.

Adam Wiltgen is the new development director at the Anderson Center in Red Wing. Photo by RJ Lawrence
Adam Wiltgen is the new development director at the Anderson Center in Red Wing. Photo by RJ Lawrence

He envisions place-based stories in a self-guided tour app or a phone link. “Stories could be repurposed for podcasts,” he added, citing the availability of free technology including Google Maps, popup stories, interactive telephone connections and more.

“I have a background in projects like this,” said Wiltgen, who grew up in Harmony, Minn., and studied music business and arts administration at Saint Marys University in Winona.

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He was co-director of the Lanesboro Arts Center before he and his wife, Nicole, and their young daughter, Willow, came to Red Wing.

Lanesboro is a small community but it has a lot of creative energy, he said. When that city hosted the Smithsonian Institute Waterways Tour, for example, there were walking tours, oral histories and a number of other community-based activities.

A summer Guided History Walking Tour series at the Anderson Center seems like the right project to focus on at this time, Wiltgen said. “It feels great to be building something that we can develop and build upon.”

The first tours in the series will be every other week through July, he said. “We plan to continue tours into August” with a variety of topics and routes – possibly including the outdoor sculpture garden, which is open to visitors at no charge. Indoor spaces also will be opening soon.