P.O.Box 748
Lexington KY 40588
Contact Information
Address P.O.Box 748
Lexington, KY 40588
Phone (859) 254-0530
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 1999
Financial Summary
Mission Statement

The Lexington History Museum engages all people in the discovery and interpretation of the history of Lexington, Ky., and the Bluegrass Region.

Background Statement The Lexington History Museum, Inc., was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in 1999 as part of a settlement between Lexington Fayette Urban-County Government and the Commonwealth of Kentucky to operate a history museum in the former Fayette County Courthouse. Until it opened its doors in Oct. 2003, the Museum scheduled monthly "Evening with Your History" programs at the Lexington Public Library. These programs, which continue today, feature speakers and performers from the Kentucky Humanities Council, as well as local speakers on a variety of topics, included the Civil War, Thoroughbred and Saddlebred horses, transportation in the Bluegrass, and important social and cultural events in Lexington's history. Since opening in Oct. 2003, the Museum has mounted a wide variety of exhibits, both permanent ("Lexington: Athens of the West," "In Black & White: A Photographic Perspective of the African American Community," and "Lincoln and His Wife's Hometown") and temporary ("This is Home Now: Survivors of the Holocaust," "Shakespeare in Lexington," "The Keeneland Legacy," and "Holiday Traditions of the Bluegrass"). In 2007, the Museum embarked on an ambitious goal to enhance the visit experience of children, 6-12, and increase the numbers of families with children visiting the Museum. Since December 2007, the Museum remains open seven days a week, Noon-4 p.m., during school vacation periods, as well as the spring and fall Keeneland race meets and tourist seasons. (In November and January-March, the Museum is open Friday-Monday, Noon-4 p.m., open early Saturdays at 10 a.m.). In addition, "Play Date with History" areas a located throughout the Museum with play and craft activities related to the exhibits. Each summer a "Hands-On History" Day Camp is offered with daily programming based on Lexington's history. ("Play Date with History" and "Hands-On History" are registered trademarks of the Museum.) The Museum maintains an outreach program to area schools with two programs. "Traveling Trunks" provide teachers with pre-programmed lessons related to state and national history, including KERA-based curriculum guides. "Scholar-Trips" funds school bus costs related to field trips to the Museum. Both are funded by grants from individuals and organizations.  On July 13, 2012, the Old Fayette County Courthouse was shut down due to high levels of lead found throught the building.  Since the closure of our physical space, the museum has been building partnerships with local insititutions to provide exhibits and programing, working on locating a temporary museum space, offering outreach programs to schools and groups.  Future exhibits being planned include Native Americans in Kentucky which will open at the Lyric Theatre in April 2013.
Impact Statement
Top accomplishments last year:
1. Reached more than 10,000 persons through admissions, programs, and outreach.
2. Completed five-year major donor campaign.
3. Grew "families with children" category to more than 30%.
Goals for this year:
1. Raise $125,000 for operating funds.
2. Establish $5,000 "Thomas D. Clark Fellows" donor level.
3. Secure temporary housing for the museum while the Old Fayette County Courthouse is renovated.
Needs Statement 1. $125,000 in annual operating funds.
2. Temporary Housing while the Old Fayette County Courthouse is renovated.
3. $8 million in short term building improvements (HVAC, elevators, plumbing, etc.), open the fourth floor for exhibit space, and open the dome space. 5. $23 million in major building renovation and restoration to replace the original staircase, open up the central core from the first floor to the dome, and restore the two-story 1900 Courtroom.
CEO/Executive Director Statement As the first major city settled west of the Alleghany Mountains, Lexington enjoys a unique place in our national history. The Museum is blessed to be charged with presenting our community's story, and challenged to bring history alive for current and future generations. We are proud of the level of quality in our exhibit presentations, despite the challenge of a limited budget, and of our success in engaging young minds in the story of their heritage. I am proud of the accomplishments the Museum has achieved during its seven years in operation, and remain confident of future growth to ensure we continue to fulfill our mission statement to engage all people in the discovery and interpretation of Lexington's vast, rich history. James Kemper Millard, CTA President & CEO
Board Chair Statement I am proud to serve as Board chair for the Lexington History Museum, and to follow the wonderful leadership provided by my successors, the late Dr. Thomas D. Clark and the late Dr. James Glenn. I have served as a Trustee since the Board was formed in 1999, as Chair since June 2009. As with most non-profit organizations, our major challenge is funding an adequate operating budget that allows our staff and volunteers to work their magic in mounting interesting, informative, and entertaining exhibits interpreting aspects of our community's rich heritage. My passion for the Museum is based on my personal engagement as an amateur historian. I enjoy my family's and my wife's family's genealogical heritage and easily transfer that passion to the Lexington History Museum. As a practicing attorney specializing in the legal needs of not-for-profit organizations, I further bring a professional perspective to my service on the Board. Foster Ockerman, Jr. Board of Trustees Chair Attorney-at-Law
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Tertiary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development-Citizenship
Geographic Areas Served
Fayette County
The history of Lexington, Ky., is bound tightly to that of Kentucky and the nation. As the first major settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains, Lexington served as a gateway to the nation's future expansion. European Americans, Free Blacks, enslaved African Americans, and Native Americans contributed to the development of the community in times of peace and of conflict. The impact of Lexington's history is not limited to Fayette County, but includes the state, nation, and world.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. William Ambrose
Company Affiliation Dupree Financial
Term July 2012 to June 2015
Board Members
Mr. Stephen G. Amato McBrayer McGinnis Leslie & Kirkland PLLCVoting
Mr. William Ambrose Dupree Mutual FundsVoting
Mr. Kent Masterson Brown AttorneyVoting
Ms. Marie Copeland Community volunteerVoting
Mr. Ben Cowgill ITVoting
Mr. James Dickinson Community volunteerVoting
Mr. Tom Dupree Jr.Dupree Mutual FundsVoting
Ms. Barbara Hulette Community volunteerVoting
Mr. Bert Hutchinson BankerVoting
Ms. Kelly Johns StablemateCreativeVoting
Mr. William Marshall Community volunteerVoting
Mr. James Kemper Millard Lexington History Museum, Inc.Exofficio
Mr. Philip Moloney AttorneyVoting
Ms. Kathy Plomin Community volunteerVoting
Ms. Cathy Schenck Keeneland AssociationVoting
Sen. Kathy Stein AttorneyVoting
Rev. Troy Thomas MinisterVoting
Mr. Myron Thompson EducatorVoting
Dr. Doris Wilkinson EducatorVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 20
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 15
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 48%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 63%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 30%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Co-Chair
Board CoChair Mr. Barry McNees
Company Affiliation Lexington Distillery District
Term July 2011 to July 2014
Standing Committees
Capital Campaign
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Human Resources / Personnel
Program / Program Planning
CEO Comments We are blessed with an active board that takes its governance role seriously and works well both within the board as well as with staff and volunteers.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director No Executive Director
Term Start Nov 2012
Experience The museum currently does not have an executive director.  Management of the museum is being oversee by our Board President William Ambrose, and our Director of Public Programs Debra Watkins.
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 25
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 50%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Senior Staff
Title Manager
Debra G. Watkins joined the Museum staff in 2005 as Cooridnator of volunteers and educational outreach. In 2009, she was promoted to Musuem Manager, with general responsibilities of operating the Museum and planning exhibits. Her prior experience includes an associate with ConZone Intermedia & Design, an accounting associate with Turf Catering Company, and a work-study position with the University of Kentucky Anthropology Museum. She holds her degree in history from the University of Kentucky.
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Quarterly
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Quarterly
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Quarterly
CEO Comments
Museum management operates on a transparent basis. The financial, board,  and employee records are open to the public during business hours.

This permanent exhibit presents a non-linear overview of Lexington's culture, commerce, agriculture, and history. Included is the only known portrait of Richard Henderson, a visionary who attempted to organize the 14th colony to be named Transylvania, and who employed Daniel Boone to survey the lands of Virginia and Tennessee west of the Alleghany Mountains.

Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families
Description This now-permanent exhibit was developed and funded in part by a grant from the Kentucky Heritage Council as part of the state's commemoration of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial in 2009. Now a permanent exhibit, it interprets the four times Lincoln visited Lexington, 1840-1849, and the impact each visit had on the development of the persona we know today. Included is the "Play Date with History"(R) area for children with featuring reproduction toys of the 19th century.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families
Description Funded in part by a grant from the Kentucky Humanities Council, this exhibit presents images from family photo albums of African American families through the Civil Rights Era. An interactive feature allows visitors to comment or add to the knowledge base of the collection, which has been published in book format by Arcadia Publications of Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families
Description The AAEA art exhibition is a revolving exhibit that opens with a new collection for each LexArts Gallery Hop and remains open until approximately one week prior to the next Gallery Hop. Remaining dates for 2011 are September 16 and November 18. Please check back for an announcement of the 2012 Gallery Hop dates. Each entry is available for purchase with 20% of the proceeds benefiting the Museum.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served Adults, ,
Description Based on the book by the same name published in 1938 by historian J. Winston Coleman, Jr., the exhibit details the events occurring in and around a city occupied by Federal troops in a state that did not succeed from the Union. The exhibit is part of the Kentucky Civil War Sesquicentennial.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families
Program Comments
CEO Comments The Museum plans new exhibits every 45 days or so to keep the attractions fresh to repeat visitors. In addition to those listed, the Museum interprets the development of Transportation in the Bluegrass, the history of the Fayette County Courthouses, the IBM Historic Typewriter Collection, the relationshipe between Margaret Mitchell and Lexington as her model for Ante-Bellum Georgia in her book "Gone With the Wind", and the Original 1900 Courtroom. The values stated for the exhibits represent the range of costs the Museum encounters in mounting new exhibits, which are all funded by private donations from individuals or organizations.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 15
Date Strategic Plan Adopted June 2009
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
American Association of Museums - Member2010
Commerce Lexington2010
Member Downtown Lexington Corporation2010
Gold AddyLexington Advertising Club2009
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2012
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2012
Projected Revenue $118,700.00
Projected Expenses $118,700.00
Endowment Value $15,300.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201120102009
Program Expense$1,162,400$72,688$76,693
Administration Expense$301,546$20,132$20,302
Fundraising Expense$206,787$20,132$20,302
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.031.551.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses70%64%65%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue21%12%17%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201120102009
Total Assets$2,158,736$6,117$14,187
Current Assets$108,303$6,117$14,187
Long-Term Liabilities$100,000--$0
Current Liabilities$786,664--$0
Total Net Assets$1,272,072$6,117$14,187
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201120102009
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.14----
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201120102009
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets5%0%0%
Form 990s
2010 990 2010
2009 990
2008 Form 990
2007 Form 990
2006 Form 990
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Campaign Purpose Short term: To raise funds necessary to complete interim improvements to building HVAC, elevators, and public spaces (projected $8 million). Long term: To raise funds to restore the central staircase, open the dome, and renovate the first floor for retail space and the fourth floor for exhibit space (projected $23 million).
Goal $23,000,000.00
State Registration Yes
CEO Comments
The Museum has not had funding for an audit or review. This has been a priority of the Board since its inception, but financial conditions have not provided adequate funding for compliance. The financials are reviewed weekly by the Treasurer. Statements and other data are open to the public during business hours.
Foundation Staff Comments The Foundation staff corrected an addition error on the organization's Statement of Functional Expenses on the 2009 Form 990 when entering financial data for the 2009 graph.  The functional expenses as reported in the 2009 graph above are different from those reported on the Form 990 to the IRS for 2009.