362 N Martin Luther King Blvd
Lexington KY 40508
Contact Information
Address 362 N Martin Luther King Blvd
Lexington, KY 40508
Phone (859) 252-5222
Fax 859 255-7448
Contact Name Heather Lyons
Web and Social Media
The Living Arts & Science Center
Students learn about animal adaptations in the LASC's Science Explorers Program
LASC students learns the art and science of self portraiture
Financial Summary
Mission Statement
The Living Arts & Science Center inspires participation in the arts and sciences by engaging the community through education, discovery, exploration and creativity.
The mission of the Living Arts and Science Center is achieved in concert with our Core Values:
Core Values of the Living Arts & Science Center

Lifelong Learning:The LASC believes that people of all ages deserve accessible opportunities to learn and to be creative.

Community Outreach:The LASC believes that the community is stronger through opportunities for citizens to work, create and learn together.

Diversity in service:The LASC believes that all of its representatives, staff, programs and services should respect all people equally without regard to race, creed, color, financial status, sexual orientation, gender, age, religion, disability or nationality.

Accountability and Transparency:The LASC believes in honoring the community’s trust through accountability and transparency of our programs and services.

Interactivity:The LASC believes in participation and interactivity and will strive to fully engage the staff, board of directors and community at-large.

 This is accomplished through classes, workshops, hands-on programs, participatory exhibits, frequent opportunities to learn science and art forms directly from performing or exhibiting artists and scientists, collaborative experiences for the community, educational programs in schools, community centers, and other venues to reach special needs, at risk and underserved children and adults. The LASC offers free and low-cost programming throughout the year for all members of the Central Kentucky community. The staff and board of directors understand that this mission will be accomplished through maintaining ethical standards and ongoing oversight of the programming offered at LASC.
Background Statement

The beautiful building and grounds of the Living Arts & Science Center (LASC) is as significant to Lexington’s history as is the organization itself. The structure, known as the Kinkead House, was built in 1847 by George B. Kinkead, a landowner and Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln’s attorney. Following the civil war, Kinkead was sympathetic to the plight of newly freed slaves. To assist with housing needs for them, he built homes on the land adjacent to his residence and made them available to the freed slaves moving into the more urbanized area. This neighborhood came to be known as Kinkeadtown and grew to include more than 300 families in Lexington’s east end.

In 1968, visionary Lexington leaders identified the need for creative education for children and the LASC was founded to provide “creative and unique opportunities in the arts and sciences.” In 1971, the Kinkead heirs first loaned the use of their house and grounds to the new organization and, in 1981, the Kinkead heirs donated the historic home and acreage to the LASC.

The building is now on the National Register of Historic Places and the 7,000 square foot house and 1.5 lively acres surrounding the building provides programming for over 40,000 children and adults annually.  The grounds have been enhanced to include a man-made waterfall and stream, large sculptures, native Kentucky plantings, and educational gardens.

In the past seven years, the LASC has enjoyed significant growth in ongoing programs, reaching over 1,000 individuals at the Day of the Dead Festival and up to 300 guests each month for Discovery Night. Class enrollment has increased over 42 percent in the past five years and field trip attendance has more than doubled. With the significant growth which the LASC has experienced, the LASC's Board of Directors and staff are proud to now be in construction on a renovation of our historic building and expansion into a second building on our grounds. We are nearing completion of a $5.5 million capital campaign, which includes $500,000 in funds for our endowment.  Committed to our historic inner-city neighborhood, the LASC is especially pleased to enter into this new phase within the same neighborhood that brought this building to life and is so richly tied to the early history of Lexington and of Kentucky.
Impact Statement

Major Accomplishments include: 


The LASC will open its new facility and renovated home in April 2016. This is significant milestone for the organization, as all of our existing programs have needed additional space for many years and we have been limited in beginning new programming at the LASC. We have done this while remaining a debt-free organization and simultaneously growing our operating budget and programs.


Class enrollment has more than doubled in the past 5 years. Last summer, we served over 1,200 students during the 9-week summer program. We now offer classes 12 months out of the year and have expanded our program to include tuition-based after school classes at five elementary schools and free after school programs at five low income elementary schools and one low income middle school. The LASC also expanded our scholarship program to provide over 300 scholarships to students with financial need.

Field Trips

Field trips continue to increase by 10 to 20% each year. In 2015, over 7,500 students from schools in 40+ Kentucky counties participated in the LASC's field trip programs, and in Wonders On Wheels (WOW), the LASC’s hands-on arts and science programs which are taken into schools.

Community Outreach

The Day of the Dead Festival’s annual event in 2015 included the participation of more than 20 schools and several non-profit organizations, and dozens of individual performing and visual artists. Over 1,500 guests were welcomed for a related art exhibit and traditional dance, music, Day of the Dead food, crafts, and a candlelight parade to an altar exhibit in the neighborhood cemetery.

Challenges and Goals:

With our over-extended space, the LASC works hard to maintain high quality programs while not losing audience or reducing programs. We try to stagger programming to allow more opportunities for participants. We are excited to open our new facility and renovated home that will allow our existing programs to grow and give us the opportunity to begin new programs.

Needs Statement
The Living Arts & Science Center has experienced tremendous growth and is in need of additional space to maintain and expand our programs.  The LASC 's current Capital Campaign, IMAGINE THIS!, is an important and historic undertaking for the LASC.  This campaign will provide for a renovation of our current building as well as an additional building on our grounds.  The expanded space will allow field trip programs, hands-on exhibits and community programming in the arts and sciences to flourish.We have nearly completed this campaign - having raised $5.3 million of our $5.5 million goal. However, we still need funds to fully complete our educational technology and furnishings needs.
The new facility and renovation includes:
Additional classrooms
A permanent Planetarium
Children's Art Gallery
Expanded Discovery Exhibit
Digital Media Studio
Expanded green space and educational gardens
In addition to our need to complete the capital campaign, we are now moving forward with plans for increased and new programming. As we move into our new facility, we are eager to increase the number of class offerings, field trips, and outreach programs that we offer. In order to increase these programs and begin new programs, such as our Teaching Kitchen Family Cooking Nights and our weekly Discovery Saturday programs, we need additional funds for staff, teachers, and class supplies. Also, as all of our programs increase and we offer new programs, we also want to increase our scholarship offerings to students.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
The staff and teachers associated with the LASC enjoy the unique privilege to witness, on a daily basis, the enormous impact that creative education can have on children and adults. We see the positive results that experiential learning can have on students who may struggle with less interactive teaching methods. Teaching through the arts provides enormous benefits to all students. They develop ways to problem solve and to look at problems from multiple angles. They learn to work collaboratively and to think independently as well. They learn to work efficiently with materials, time and supplies. They learn to organize thoughts and ideas and to work toward goals and outcomes. And, many students who may have had difficulty finding successful opportunities within their regular school experience, enjoy equal footing in creativity and ingenuity. This is a tremendous boon to their self-esteem and confidence levels which are so important in all facets of their lives.
We also have the wonderful opportunity to witness parents becoming more engaged with their children's education and understanding the long-term benefits of positive and engaging experiences. As a lifelong teaching center, we know that opportunities for children and adults to share in their experiences are vital.
In addition to our success as a creative educational Center, the LASC is also extremely proud of the long and exemplary way in which the organization has governed itself and conducted its work. The LASC carries no debt - certainly a unique situation for many non-profit arts organizations but a circumstance which has served us well.
In the Summer of 2014, we adopted a new strategic transition plan, which includes plans for opening our new facility, the expansion of our existing programs and the establishment of new programs. This in-depth process was accomplished with dedicated members of our Board of Directors. The last long range plan, adopted in 2010 and drafted with the assistance of Danielle Clore from the Kentucky Nonprofit Network, outlined the plans for our expansion, renovation and capital campaign. We are pleased to that we had met our goals and objectives set forth in that plan.
Our unique mission and purpose has never worn out. In our digital and technological age, with enormous societal and environmental issues, the need for creative and educational experiences, innovative thought and ingenuity are even more necessary today than they were in the 1960's when the organization was founded.
After more than four decades, the LASC continues to be... the place where creativity grows!
Board Chair Statement

It is an honor to serve as president of the board of the LASC during such a dynamic and inspiring time in the organization’s history. For more than four decades, the LASC has provided opportunities to children and adults to participate in creative learning opportunities in the arts and sciences. In the past 10 years, we have more than doubled our total number of individuals reached and have completely maximized the space that we have in our facility at the historic Kinkead House in downtown Lexington and are in need of expansion to facilitate our continued growth. It is a very exciting time for our organization.

Currently, the focus of our board and staff has been on our $5.5 million Imagine This! capital campaign to renovate the Kinkead House and expand into a new building on our campus. Despite launching the campaign during a slow economic recovery, we have raised $4.9 million of that $5.5 million campaign and are working hard to raise the final funds necessary to complete the project.

The Lexington community has embraced our efforts and is enthused by our progress. We continue to hear wonderful accolades about the project. The expansion is sorely needed for our organization- we have waiting lists for our field trip program, classrooms are at capacity for many of our classes, and we borrow space periodically throughout the year to offer our programs.

In addition to our capital campaign, we must maintain a healthy annual operating budget. We do that in a variety of ways, including board-driven projects like our annual H'Artful of Fun and Bike Prom events, as well as an annual giving, sponsorship, and membership program. Challenges exist in fundraising in this economy, but our mission resonates throughout the community and state and each year, we find that new and loyal donors understand the importance of the LASC.

The LASC enjoys and benefits from an engaged and dedicated board of directors. Coupled with a talented and dedicated staff, we operate a non-profit that carries no debt, an uncommon trait in this day and age.

We are grateful to the Blue Grass Community Foundation for its continued commitment to non-profits like the LASC. We value its partnership, the annual Good Giving Campaign, and all it and its donors do for the Lexington community and beyond.

Most Sincerely,

Maggie Mick
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Education / Elementary & Secondary Schools
Tertiary Organization Category Science & Technology /
Geographic Areas Served
Fayette County
Bourbon County
Clark County
Harrison County
Jessamine County
Madison County
Scott County
Anderson County
Franklin County
Shelby County
Washington County
Spencer County
In the past year, the Living Arts & Science Center has presented programs to schools and community organizations in 40+ Kentucky counties and for a visiting school from West Virginia.  Schools visit from counties throughout Central and Eastern Kentucky and the LASC's Wonders on Wheels (WOW) program takes our educational exhibits and Discovery Dome Planetarium into schools through Central and Eastern Kentucky.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

The Living Arts and Science Center’s (LASC) mission is to inspire participation in art and science by engaging the community through education, discovery, exploration and creativity. 

This is accomplished through classes, workshops, hands-on programs, participatory exhibits, frequent opportunities to learn science and art forms directly from performing or exhibiting artists and scientists, collaborative experiences for the community, educational programs in schools, community centers, and other venues to reach special needs, at risk and underserved children and adults. The LASC offers free and low-cost programming and awards scholarships based on financial need in order to provide programming for all members of the Central Kentucky community. The staff and board of directors understand that this mission will be accomplished through maintaining ethical standards and ongoing oversight of the programming offered at LASC.


In the Summer of 2014, the LASC board and staff met to create a strategic transition plan to guide the organization over the next three years. The following statement is our vision statement and goal for the next three years:


It is the year 2017 and the Living Arts & Science Center is a beacon, leader and innovator of art and science education and a nationally recognized resource. The recently expanded campus is the best destination for exploration that engages visitors in lifelong learning. The Center continues to grow the endowment for future support and is financially stable to focus on organizational growth.  


The goals identified in this plan include increasing and enhancing the awareness and visibility of the LASC, ensuring that the LASC is considered an innovative resource for education in the arts and sciences for all ages, ensuring outreach through programming, and ensuring short- and long-term financial stability and growth.

StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

In 2014, using the LASC’s prior successful plan as a model, the board and staff identified new goals and objectives for the next three years. Board committees and staff members were identified and assigned the responsibility of carrying out various strategies and action steps. They will regularly meet to update the plan and use these strategies as their guide throughout the next three years.

With the new expansion and renovation of the LASC’s facility, increasing and enhancing the awareness and visibility of the LASC is a priority. Identified strategies to meet this goal include developing and implementing a communication and marketing plan, re-branding the LASC and its new facility, and seeking out grants and awards to help elevate recognition of the LASC throughout the region.


In the area of programming, the LASC identified many strategies to ensure that we are an innovative resource for education and that we continue to make outreach a priority. These strategies include expanding existing programming within our new facility, establishing new programs, such as a Space Program to participate with our planetarium, and to develop teaching curriculum for new areas of the building, including the Teaching Kitchen, Clay Studio, and Digital Media Lab. The identified strategies were developed to meet the needs of our many varied audiences, including teachers, at-risk youth, families, artists, and scientists. As the board and staff considered the goals and aligned strategies to meet them, specific programs were analyzed for growth areas and potentially new programs were identified to be considered. Throughout this process, board and staff visualized the programs within the new facility. In addition to considering each program and audience, the LASC focused on partnership and collaboration as a key in each strategy developed. The LASC has been successful and growing since 1968 because of its partnership with many artists, scientists, educators, students, community members, and organizations in its programming. Involving many to participate in the programming, from start to finish, creates a collaborative, community effort to form shared ideas and concepts, and strengthens the LASC’s role as a core provider of lifelong learning.


Strategies addressing finances include maximizing investments, regular oversight of income and expenses, the completion of the LASC’s capital campaign, and to diversify fundraising and establish new giving opportunities at the LASC. These plans include opportunities for growing the endowment, continuing a planned giving program, and identifying new areas for program support and sponsorship within the new facility. Additionally, the LASC set forth strategies to remain transparent to all parties.


The transition strategic plan is a guide for the LASC to use throughout the next three years and board and staff will review and update the document as goals are met.
CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?

The LASC benefits from a highly engaged staff of 10 professionals, all of whom are deeply connected with various constituencies; a 23-member board of directors who are also engaged in the community both personally and professionally; a Science Advisory Committee, specifically to discuss and review the LASC’s science programming; and a Capital Campaign Advisory Committee which is involved in our expansion planning.   All of these groups contribute to the LASC remaining connected, focused, and able to provide consistent and unique programming within the community.  Through regular meetings with these individuals, meetings with other community organizations, and constant evaluation with school systems and grant agencies such as LexArts and the Kentucky Arts Council, the LASC continues to monitor existing programs in the community and responds to those needs accordingly.


The LASC works diligently by partnering with other artists, scientists, educators, and organizations in presenting programs, working with schools to identify needs, and meeting regularly with community leaders to discuss the services we are providing.  The LASC is also a member of the LexArts, Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), and NASA-Kentucky, all which serve as a resource for professional development, funding opportunities, and program-development.


The LASC’s financial position is also a great asset as we move forward into the next phase of our long-range plan. The LASC remains a debt-free organization, which owns its own building and 1.5 acres of land in downtown Lexington. LASC Board and staff work continuously to ensure adequate and expanding resources to support the organizational mission. In the past year, funding success has included:

  • The LASC has nearly completed its $5.5 million campaign for our renovation and expansion - with a current total of $5.3 million raised;

  • We continue to maximize our primary fundraiser, H’Artful of Fun. In 2015, this event raised more than $92,000, a large increase from our $77,000 total from 2014. In 2016, our event will be held for the first time at the Living Arts & Science Center in April, as part of the grand (re) opening of our facility;

  • The continuation of our Bike Prom event which inspires bike riders to dress as they were going to the prom, ride their bike to “stops” in downtown Lexington, participate in prom-like activities, and finish the ride at a local brewery. Last year, the LASC doubled the total raised for this event through sponsorships and increased participation.

  • Our projections anticipate nearly 50% increases in earned income for our field trip programs, classes, and family programming in the planetarium within the first full year of our new building.

IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?

To assess the effectiveness and quality of our programs, the LASC gathers and evaluates information in numerous ways. We solicit direct feedback through evaluation forms that are provided to every student, parent and visiting teacher participating in a class, workshop or field trip program. Evaluation forms are also available year-round on the LASC Web site. The evaluation seeks rankings and comments on teachers, curriculum, and policies and practices of the LASC. Forms are reviewed by the educational staff and ED and responded to if appropriate. Comments from evaluations are entered into a database and used in marketing and publicity materials. Programming and teachers are assessed based upon evaluations and staff visits to classrooms. Additionally, LASC teachers are asked to evaluate their teaching experiences and to discuss issues with the Education staff and the LASC Director. The LASC also provides comment books at exhibits and community programs. Additionally, full staff and programmatic staff meet regularly for planning, program development, and for post-event discussions. Notes for revisions and improvements are made and reviewed for recurring events. And, staff meets with other artist collaborators prior to events and following events to discuss and evaluate programs.

For the past five years, the LASC has enjoyed significant growth in our classes (for all ages), our field trip programs, and our community arts programs. We are very pleased to see many participants who join with us for one program, also begin attending other programs too. Additionally, in 2014, the LASC was the recipient of a Golden Apple Award from Commerce Lexington and the Fayette Co. Public School system and the recipient of two highly competitive federal grants - an Institute for Museum & Library Services (IMLS) grant and a Creativity Garden grant from the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC). These are all positive indicator to us of the quality of our programs. 

Throughout our transition plan, we have established measurable outcomes for each goal. Specific milestones include (but are not limited to):

  • Development of a marketing and communications plan

  • Re-branding of the LASC  and opening of new facility, simultaneously (we have a new logo and branding materials that are being unveiled alongside our new space)

  • Completion of capital campaign and focused efforts on new membership levels and funding opportunities

  • Establishment of new programs, including a Space Program

  • Further expansion of existing programs into new facility

  • Development of curriculum for new areas of the building – Teaching Kitchen, Clay Studio, Rooftop Garden, and Digital Media Lab (We recently received funding for Teaching Kitchen programs).

This plan will help us transition into our new facility and begin operating with the additional space. At that time, the board and staff will re-evaluate our long-range plan and undergo an additional planning process for the years 2017-2022.

ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?

Programmatically, the LASC has seen tremendous, steady growth. Over the past five years, class enrollment increased 42% and field trip program attendance doubled. Seven years ago, the LASC was working in 7 Kentucky counties. Last year, we reached 40 counties. There is an obvious demand for arts and science enrichment. The need for services continues to grow – we have waiting lists for many of our programs and summer class enrollment has reached its maximum for three years in a row. This speaks to the quality of the programs that we are providing and the true need for what we offer. In addition to our schedule of classes, field trip and outreach programs, and community events, such as Day of the Dead and Family Fun Day, the LASC works with five elementary schools in Fayette Co. to provide free after-school Science Explorers programs. Modeled after this highly successful program, the LASC is beginning its second year of free after-school program, called Art Explorers, at William Wells Brown Elementary, one of the most at-risk elementary schools in the state, and Lexington Traditional Magnet School, located just down the street from our facility. While we continue to grow our existing programs, we also are seeking new ways that we can partner with schools to fulfill our mission and better serve our community.

Physically, the LASC is growing, as well. The renovation of our existing home and construction of a 10,000+ square foot addition is underway. Our new facility is now open and being utilized for programming while our historic home is nearing completion of renovations now.

While there are always significant financial challenges for non-profits, the LASC has weathered difficulties remarkably well due to our financial stability.

Due to significant programmatic growth, the LASC launched a $5.5M Capital Campaign in 2012. We have now raised $5.3 million, have completed our new facility, and are completing renovation of our historic building and grounds. It has been extremely challenging to raise the capital funds while trying to maintain our extensive programming; some programming and operating donors have suspended their donations while they fulfill their commitments to the capital campaign. This has required extremely tight management of the organization and this year, with the loss of a $50,000 grant that supported programming for at-risk and underserved audiences, as well as some operating expenses for our building, were regretfully reduced some employee benefit expenses and reduced some free outreach activities. We had received this funding for over 20 years but now will not be eligible for it again until the foundation has completed their very significant gift to the capital campaign. The slow construction process exacerbates the problem because we are unable to expand our earned income programming with our limited space. We have, and are managing to remain debt free and to fulfill our programmatic mission --- and, complete our building and our capital campaign, however, it is not without challenge.


Board Chair
Board Chair Paige Bensing
Company Affiliation Lexmark
Term July 2015 to June 2016
Board Members
Ryan Atkins Kentucky UtilitiesVoting
Paige Bensing LexMarkVoting
Seth Brewer EnotecaVoting
Joseph Coleman Kentucky League of CitiesVoting
Markus Cross Community VolunteerVoting
Harriet Dupree Bradley Dupree CateringVoting
Colmon Elridge The Council of State GovernmentsVoting
Jenny Frey SymbiotixVoting
Heather Hadi Law Office of Heather HadiVoting
Brendon Halvorsen Chase
Emmy Hartley Cornett IMSVoting
Dan Hitchcock Wyatt Tarrant & CombsVoting
Hannah Huggins W. Rogers Co.Voting
Debra Hughley Clark MaterialsVoting
Diane Loeffler University of KentuckyVoting
Stacie Marksbury Marksbury Family FoundationVoting
Maggie Mick The Council of State GovernmentsVoting
Brandi Peacher Downtown Development AuthorityVoting
Gregory Pettit Guthrie/Mayes Public RelationsVoting
Chad Rudzik Fifth Third BankVoting
Coley Stilz Kinkead & StilzVoting
Dr. Jennifer VanNess Lexington OBGYN AssociatesVoting
Randall Vaughn Gray ConstructionVoting
Meredith Walker Bluegrass Sotheby's
Mrs. Yajaira Aich West PNCVoting
Gina Whitis Dean Dorton Allen FordVoting
Robert Williams Unified Trust CompanyVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 22
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 13
Female 14
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 61%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments

The LASC has actively sought and implemented best management practices for the Board of Directors and staff. Several years ago, the organization reviewed and utilized former State Auditor Crit Luallen's guidelines for non-profit management, and the LASC was an early adopter of the Kentucky Non-profit Networks Governance guidelines. Our Core Values, which were adopted along with our Long Range Plan in 2010, focus on quality, high standards and complete transparency of our organization.

The Living Arts & Science Center's IMAGINE THIS Capital Campaign is an historic and important initiative for this organization. This $5.5M campaign will not only serve the organization, the neighborhood and the community, but will propel the organization to be accepted as an arts and education destination for visitors from across the state and in our several contiguous states. Now nearing completion of this campaign, the organization has a tremendous responsibility to maintain stringent financial oversight and transparency of all capital campaign information as well as for our ongoing programming and services. We welcome the opportunity to maintain our high standards of quality and transparency in all of work.

We see this as the most opportune time to move forward with this visionary expansion. The East End of Lexington is experiencing some wonderful rebirth, and all of downtown is now the focus of new and exciting development and infrastructure. Our new facility, which will offer so much on the inside and outside of the building, will definitely be a vibrant and creative addition that will enhance the quality of life for all. With our continued movement forward, the LASC will be poised and ready to serve an eager and larger audience and constituency when the economy has rebounded.

CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Heather Lyons
Term Start Oct 2004
Experience Heather Lyons has served as Executive Director of the Living Arts & Science Center since 2004. She had previously served as an Artist-in-Residence at the LASC in the early 1990’s and later as the LASC’s Development Director.

Previously, Heather was Individual Artist Program Director for the Kentucky Arts Council, 2002-2005. In this capacity, she coordinated grant and Fellowship programs for individual artists as well as the Arts Council’s juried and artist marketing programs. Additionally, Heather coordinated special events such as Kentucky’s participation in the five state art exhibit, Thresholds: Expressions of Art & Spiritual Life; the annual Kentucky Visions exhibit held at the Governor’s Mansion; and Kentucky On Stage, a performance showcase and professional development conference.

For more than 10 years, Heather Lyons was a visiting Media Artist-in-Residence (AIR), working with students and teachers in schools and alternative educational facilities primarily for at-risk students in eastern and far-western Kentucky, and in Lexington, to create media arts projects. As AIR at the LASC from 1990 to 1993, she established a Media Arts Center which created opportunities for at-risk and underserved children to identify and tell their own stories. These included In My Neighborhood, elementary school children’s video portrait of their own neighborhood; and other projects on their local history and artists. The Media Art Center also enable students to work with guest artists, and show their video projects at indoor and outdoor film festivals and on TV.

Heather is also an award-winning independent filmmaker whose last documentary, A Lasting Thing for the World, The Photography of Doris Ulmann was broadcast on Kentucky Educational Television in 2002. Her previous films, M & M Smith: For Posterity’s Sake was broadcast nationally on PBS, and screened at numerous museums and festivals across the country. Her other documentary films include award-winning documentaries James Still’s River of Earth; Laura Clay: Voice of Change; and Imani.

Heather is the recipient of a Kentucky Arts Council Media Arts Fellowship and has served numerous times as a funding panelist and consultant for local, regional and national organizations and agencies such as the Independent Television Service (ITVS), the Southern Humanities Media Fund, Kentucky Educational Television, the Kentucky Arts Council, the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.
Full Time Staff 7
Part Time Staff 3
Volunteers 30
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
Martha K. Henton 1981 - 2004
Senior Staff
Title Development Director
Title Discovery Education Director
Title Gallery Director
Title Digital Media Coordinator
Title Bookkeeper
Title Executive Director
Title Art Education Coordinator
Title Marketing Director
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Description At the LASC: Each year, over 300 classes are presented for children and adults. Classes are offered in a range of media, such as painting, drawing, pottery, animation, weaving, architecture, cartooning, and other multi-disciplinary forms. Classes provide examples of the close connections between art and science, such as natural history illustration, robot building, bridge building and spinning and dying using botanical dyes.

In the Schools: LASC provides free educational art and science programs to public schools with large percentages of at-risk students, including a 6-week Urban Ecology program in four at-risk elementary schools, a 12-week Science Explorers program in five at-risk elementary schools, and a 16-week Art Explorers program in one at-risk elementary school and one at-risk middle school. All programs support KERA and the Core Content for the appropriate grades. Additionally, the LASC offers tuition-based after school classes at five elementary schools in Fayette County. 
In the Community: LASC is committed to making art accessible to all and provides weekly art classes for at-risk, underserved and special needs children and adults served by social service agencies.
Population Served , ,
Program Short Term Success The short-term goal for our classes and workshops is to expand our offerings to include groups on our waiting lists and offer the classes to additional groups. To do this, we must renovate and expand our facilities.
Program Long term Success The long-term goal of the classes and workshops being offered at the LASC is to teach children adults an appreciation for art and science over the course of a lifetime. Long-term, the LASC would like to continue growing at the current rate, reaching as many Kentuckians as possible.
Examples of Program Success The Living Arts & Science Center had the busiest summer program on record with over 1,000 students enrolled in art and science classes. Over the past five years, class enrollment has seen an increase of 42%.
Description Marksbury Family Discovery Gallery: Each year, the LASC offers a new exhibit in the Discovery Gallery, which supports Kentucky’s Core Content in Science and Art and focuses on the connections between the arts and sciences. This exhibit serves over 7,500 Kentucky children through hands-on school field trip programs and is open free to the general public.

The Gloria Singletary Art Gallery: Each year, the LASC presents between six and eight art exhibits showcasing the work of local and regional artists. The gallery is free and open to the public six days a week. It also serves the Central Kentucky school systems by providing field trip programs showcasing the exhibits and hands-on exploration in the related art media. Art exhibits at the LASC are interactive, engaging the viewer in learning and looking beyond the surface.
Glo Gallery: In the new Lucille Caudill Little Discovery Center (our new facility), the LASC now has a second art gallery, our Glo Gallery. This space will be a major exhibition space for local, regional, and national artists, as well as a large community space for events. In addition to the Gallery space itself, the large two-story glass windows will serve as a digital exhibition space, as we can project digital art, film, and photography for visitors on the inside or outside of the building to view. 
The LASC also participates in Gallery Hops and provides an art experience that is friendly and engaging for the entire family.  The art exhibits and discovery exhibits are free and open to the public. 
Population Served , ,
Program Short Term Success Each show is interactive and attendance grows each year through special events, field trips, Discovery Nights, and Gallery Hop. Our short-term goal is to continue providing relevant artwork, featuring new and emerging local and national artists, and providing an educational component for all ages to accompany each show.
Program Long term Success The art exhibits in the Gloria Singletary Art Gallery promote lifelong learning by being educational for all ages. With the expansion and renovation project, the Art Gallery will also be joined by a Children's Art Gallery, making it an even larger focal point for the LASC.
The LASC is committed to providing unique, educational and free or low-cost programming for the entire family.
This programming includes:

Discovery Night: The first Thursday of every month, this is a family friendly event with guest artists and scientists, as well as hands-on activities.
Discovery Saturdays - A NEW program at the LASC, Discovery Saturdays give families an opportunity to explore all that is new at the LASC. For a $4 per person admission price, visitors can explore the new Discovery Exhibit, create work in our Moosnick Maker Space, and see a planetarium show in Lexington's Only Planetarium at 1:30 p.m.
Day of the Dead Festival: Community partners work with the LASC to present this Festival of music, dance, exhibits, field trips, and traditional food associated with this Latin American holiday.

Neighborhood Events: The LASC reaches out to our inner-city community and provides free annual programs for the Martin Luther King neighborhood. Programs have included African Drumming and Dance, Family Fun Day, and a rain garden and rain barrel project.
Classes:  The LASC provides free participatory art and science programs to numerous social service agencies, community centers and libraries, reaching at-risk, underserved and special needs children and adults.
Population Served , ,
Program Short Term Success Our short-term goals would include continuing to offer monthly Discovery Night programs, planning our annual Day of the Dead festival and annual Family Fun Day, and reaching out to a variety of other organizations to partner in reaching other populations in the communities that we serve. Additionally, we plan to continue the work we do in partnership with community agencies, such as the Family Care Center, the Florence Crittenden Home, The Nest, the Gainesway Empowerment Center, Day Treatment Center, and Manchester Community Center. Other events we plan to continue working with include Festival Latino, Back to School Rallies, and the Farmer's Market.
Program Long term Success Growing our existing programs is our first long-term goal. We continue to see increased audiences at our Discovery Night programs, our Family Fun day, and our Day of the Dead Festival. Those programs are critical to reaching out to underserved audiences, since we are in the middle of the neighborhood with the lowest car ownership in our county. We want to continue seeing rapid growth in those programs. Our renovation and expansion project is needed to enable us to offer even more free community programs and expand upon the ones that we are currently presenting.
Examples of Program Success A perfect example of our success to grow our community programs is the partnership that we have formed with many neighborhood community gardens, Seedleaf, and the urban orchard programs. An example of that program is our Earth Day event at the London Ferrell Community Garden, where we will present a variety of projects, including seed-planting and our Energy on the Move exhibit. 
The LASC provides hands-on educational field trip programs in the arts and sciences for students K-12th grade.  Students are guided through exhibits with LASC teachers and participate in hands-on activities related to the current exhibits. 
During the past school year, over 7,500 students from 40+ Kentucky counties participated in field trip programs at the LASC.  Several options for field trip programs include:
Discovery Exhibits - This exhibit focuses on Kentucky Core Content in the sciences, with additional art components.  New exhibits are installed at the start of each school year.
Lexington's Only Planetarium -- Earth and Sky shows are presented in the LASC's new fixed planetarium within our new facility.
Art Gallery Field trips -- Students are guided through art exhibits, frequently meet exhibiting artists and then have opportunities to create work using the same media as in the exhibition.
Population Served , ,
Program Short Term Success In the short-term, we plan to continue offering our field trips to as many schools as physically possible each year. With the expansion and renovation project, we will be able to move schools off of the waiting list and offer our field trips to even more groups.
Program Long term Success In an ideal world, we would like to reach every county in Kentucky, bringing students from all over the state to learn about art and science in a creative and interactive environment.
Examples of Program Success A perfect example of how much we have grown is to look at the past several years and the counties that we have reached with our education efforts. In 2004-2005, we served 7 counties. In 2010-2011, we served 21 counties. While this school year is not complete, we project that we will have grown from that 21 when we finish out the school year. 
The LASC offers schools the opportunity to have LASC teachers visit their schools with mobile exhibits and activities.  Traveling programs include Energy on the Move, a science focused exhibit on energy; Evolving Traditions, an exhibit which focuses on traditional and contemporary Kentucky arts and craftspeople; the StarLab Planetarium which can be taken to schools and community events; Pattern Play, which focuses on the use of pattern in works of art; and the Wonders of Water, a water conservation program.
Additionally, the annual Discovery Exhibit theme is used to customize a traveling exhibit to use when visiting with students during the school year. For example, this year, the theme is Amazing Animal Adaptations. LASC teachers guide students through explorations with life-size models, hands-on activities, and LIVE animals.
Population Served , ,
Program Comments
CEO Comments
The most significant challenge to the Living Arts & Science Center has been our lack of space within our facility.  Programs have all grown significantly and without adequate space to support them, an enormous amount of time is spent on resetting rooms and in making provisions for using spaces that are not adequate for the audience and program size. 
The LASC is so very pleased to be nearing completion on a $5.5 million Capital Campaign and under construction to renovate our current facility and provide additional programming space within a new structure on our grounds. This project will enable the LASC's programs to have their own unique space in which to operate and will allow the LASC to conduct multiple programs simultaneously.  
Our classes have waiting lists, we have had to use other space within the neighborhood for our summer program, and school field trip groups often have to be split apart as we can not accommodate  all of their students at one time.
The additional structure will include additional classroom space, an expanded Discovery Exhibit space, a Digital Media Studio, a permanent Planetarium, a multi-purpose room, a rooftop garden, and educational greenspace throughout the grounds.
We have raised $5.3 million of our $5.5 million goal. We continue to need support from the community to complete this project so that we can share many more educational opportunities with the community.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 6
Date Strategic Plan Adopted June 2010
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
The LASC collaborates with numerous community organizations, schools and agencies throughout the year as well as with artists and students. Various departments at the University of Kentucky are frequent collaborators assisting the LASC with projects, exhibits and as presenters at monthly Discovery Night programs.  The LASC has also collaborated with the Architecture Department on two semester long projects, the last of which created a large interactive Da Vinci pavillion on the grounds of the LASC.
Vision AwardBluegrass Tomorrow2010
Governor's Award in the Arts - Community ArtsKentucky State Government2004
Golden Apple AwardFayette County Public Schools and Commerce Lexington2014
Best Academic CampLexington Family Magazine2014
Best Academic CampLexington Family Magazine2013
Best Academic CampLexington Family Magazine2012
Best Academic CampLexington Family Magazine2015
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2015
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2016
Projected Revenue $633,650.00
Projected Expenses $633,650.00
Endowment Value $145,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Revenue$1,834,731$3,116,812$607,865
Total Expenses$591,960$585,578$538,131
Revenue Less Expenses$1,242,771$2,531,234$69,734
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$1,769,879$1,144,232$106,647
Individual Contributions$1,464,699$1,762,825$279,858
Investment Income, Net of Losses$7,392$105$128
Membership Dues------
Special Events$60,247$53,548$74,840
Revenue In-Kind$67,371--$2,501
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$405,177$397,898$331,491
Administration Expense$105,998$110,996$131,664
Fundraising Expense$80,785$76,684$74,976
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses3.105.321.13
Program Expense/Total Expenses68%68%62%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%3%16%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$4,813,703$3,518,877$966,532
Current Assets$3,866,040$2,776,952$96,723
Long-Term Liabilities$42,901$40,302--
Current Liabilities$55,697$24,938$61,620
Total Net Assets$4,715,105$3,453,637$904,912
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose To provide the renovation of our existing historic building and to create a new structure and reconfiguration of our grounds.
Goal $5,500,000.00
Amount Raised To Date 5300000 as of Mar 2014
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Registration Yes
Address 362 N Martin Luther King Blvd
Lexington, KY 40508
Primary Phone 859 252-5222
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Heather Lyons
Board Chair Paige Bensing
Board Chair Company Affiliation Lexmark