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
At A Glance
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
 Donations are gratefully accepted via our Website, mail, or phone - 859-252-5222.
We also welcome donations of arts materials and supplies, business or administrative materials and supplies, paper products, and other items. The LASC also welcomes donations of services for maintenance, repair, groundskeeping or landscaping, among others.  
The community may also support the LASC in the following ways:

Kroger Community Rewards --- Every time you shop at Kroger, a percentage of your purchase can be donated to the LASC. This costs you nothing but a couple of minutes of registering your Kroger Card at and selecting the Living Arts & Science Center as your beneficiary group! YOU MUST RE-REGISTER EVERY YEAR SO PLEASE KEEP YOUR ENROLLMENT CURRENT!

JOSEPH BETH GIVES BACK PROGRAM - Join the Gives BackSM Member Rewards program and get more out of every visit. You earn points on every purchase at Joseph-Beth. Plus, you save money on bestsellers, Staff Picks and Products of the Month. You also instantly get $25 worth of Brontë Bistro coupons, which makes the program virtually free!

BEST OF ALL --- a percentage of your purchases go to the LASC if you select us as your Community Partner!

Sign up now at:


If you are a member of AMAZON SMILES, with the LASC selected as your beneficiary, every time you place an order from AMAZON, a percentage of your purchase will go to the LASC! It costs you nothing but can really add up for the LASC!

Go to AmazonSmile ( and sign up and select the LASC as your charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. AMAZON will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make through will result in a donation.

Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
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 Kinkead House is on the National Register of Historic Places and the 7,000 square foot house, 11,000 square foot addition, 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 10 years, the LASC enjoyed significant growth in ongoing programs, such as our classes, field trip programs, monthly Discovery Night programs, and at annual events such as our Day of the Dead Festival and Family Fun Day.  
To better serve the community and expand programs, a new 11,000 square foot addition was added to our historic Kinkead House.  Committed to our historic inner-city neighborhood, the LASC was especially pleased to remain within our historic building and neighborhood where the organization has resided since 1971. 
The LASC now serves all of Kentucky through classes for pre-school students up to adults, interactive art and science exhibitions, field trip programs, a mobile planetarium and outreach programs that travel the state, in-school and after-school art and science classes and programs, annual events such as our Family Fun Day and Day of the Dead event, numerous programs that serve at-risk, underserved and special needs children and adults through scholarships, and partnerships with schools and social service agencies.
Impact Statement

Following a three-year-long Capital Campaign which raised over $5.3M for the renovation and expansion of the Living Arts & Science Center, and a two-year construction project, the LASC opened its new facility and renovated home in April 2016. This was a significant milestone for the organization which has been located in the historic Kinkead House in Lexington's inner-city since 1971.   The expansion was necessitated due to significant growth over the past 10 years.  Existing programs needed additional space and new programming was limited due to a lack of space.  

The organization managed the fundraising and construction while remaining open with the majority of programs continuing during construction.  The LASC also completed the project debt free.  
The new facility and renovation now includes numerous new gallery spaces including a Children's Art Gallery and a Discovery Gallery with interactive Science Exhibits.  And, teaching spaces have been greatly expanded with a new Clay Studio, a Digital Media Lab, a Teaching Kitchen, a Planetarium, an Innovation Lab, a Maker Space, and additional general purpose classrooms.  The LASC's 1.5 acres have also been renovated to include educational greenspace with a variety of gardens and a waterfall and stream from captured rainwater. 
Programs and audiences are growing significantly with enormous growth for several events since our reopening in April 2016.  Our 10th Annual Day of the Dead Festival in November 2016 had over 3000 visitors --- up from 2000 in 2015.  Our Family Fun Day event in May 2016 had over 1000 visitors, up from 500 in 2015, and our monthly program, Discovery Night is averaging over 200 guests per month -- about a 50% increase.  
Field Trips have also expanded as we now have room to conduct field trips simultaneously with classes and other programs. At this point in the 2016 - 2017 school year, over 7000 students from 24 Kentucky counties have visited our Discovery Exhibit
Needs Statement
The Living Arts & Science Center now has significantly more building space and more programming that we are providing to even greater audiences.  The LASC is always seeking support of our many free and low-cost programs that are provided to at-risk, special needs and underserved children and adults.   These programs are supported through donations, corporate sponsorships, grants, and through donations of time and service from arts and science professionals.  Some examples of support include:
 A $100 donation will provide a low-income student with 15 hours of art and science instruction in an LASC class of their choosing.
A $450 donation will provide 100 students at a Title One School (serving low-income students) with a Mobile Planetarium, or 1 of 9 interactive arts and science programs at their school.
A $850 donation will provide 100 students at a Title One School with 
an interactive art and science field trip and planetarium show at the LASC and pay for the bus to get them here!
A $1000 donation will purchase an additional computer for the Digital Media Lab, enabling more students to participate in digital art and design and new technology.
A $3000 donation will help subsidize a full year of Discovery Saturday programs enabling the LASC to provide scholarships to low-income 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. Interactive and experiential teaching through the arts and sciences 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 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 works.  
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.

For five years, the focus of our board and staff was on our $5.3 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 made our goal and opened an amazing renovated and expanded facility in April, 2016.  Over 400 contributors, with gifts from $1,000,000 to $1.00 helped us reach this tremendous achievement.

The Lexington community has embraced our efforts and is enthused by our progress. We continue to hear wonderful accolades about the project.   And, in 2016, the LASC was the recipient of two major awards, recognizing this project:  The LASC received Commerce Lexington's 2016 Non-Profit Award as well as the Downtown Lexington Authority's Urban Innovation Award.

In addition to our capital campaign, the LASC has maintained 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 is financially sound, fiscally responsible, and growing,  

Most Sincerely,
Coley Stilz
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Science & Technology / General Science
Tertiary Organization Category Education / Elementary & Secondary Schools
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
West Virginia
Bath County
Boyd County
Boyle County
Calloway County
Elliott County
Estill County
Floyd County
Henry County
Jackson County
Knott County
Laurel County
Lincoln County
Logan County
McCracken County
Mercer County
Montgomery County
Morgan County
Nicholas County
Owen County
Perry County
Powell County
Pulaski County
Robertson County
Rockcastle County
Shelby County
Trigg County
Warren County
In the past year, the Living Arts & Science Center has presented programs to schools and community organizations in nearly 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 and libraries across 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.

Our new facility with Lexington's only Planetarium, unique teaching and classroom facilities, community meeting space, educational gardens, and a wide variety of arts and science programming for pre-school students up to adults, as well as families and student and adult groups, has contributed to the LASC's significant increase in programs and audiences.  A truly unique facility, the Living Arts & Science Center is now a destination for families and groups from across the state and beyond.
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

In 2014, using the LASC’s prior successful strategic 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 12 professionals, all of whom are deeply connected with various constituencies; a 24-member board of directors who are also engaged in the community both personally and professionally; six board committees; and a Science Advisory Committee, specifically to discuss and review the LASC’s science programming.  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, the 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 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 completed its $5.3 million campaign for our renovation and expansion;

  • We continue to maximize our primary fundraiser, H’Artful of Fun. In 2016, this event raised more than $93,000, a large increase from our $77,000 total from 2014. Our 2016 event was held, for the first time, at our own 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.

Further, the LASC is currently redesigning our website and recently received a year-round media sponsorship from WKYT-TV.  These efforts will significantly expand our marketing efforts to reintroduce the greatly expanded LASC to our current and new audiences.
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, 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 seven years, the LASC has enjoyed significant growth in our classes (for all ages), our field trip programs, and our community events. We are pleased to see many participants join with us for one program, and then return for other programs too.  

 Awards and recognition also provide indication of community support and appreciation. These have recently include a 2016 Non-Profit Award from Commerce Lexington, the 2016 Urban Innovation Award from the Downtown Lexington Corporation, Best Academic Camp recognition from Lexington Family Magazine from 2012 through 2016, and in 2014, the LASC was the recipient of a Golden Apple Award from Commerce Lexington and Fayette Co. Public Schools.  
The LASC also received 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 indicators to us of the quality of our programs. 

As part of our transition plan, we established measurable outcomes for each goal. Specific milestones that have recently been completed include (but are not limited to):

  • Development of a marketing and communications plan;

  • Re-branding the LASC  and opening of new facility; a new logo and branding materials were unveiled alongside our new space);

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

  • Establishment of new programs, including Discovery Saturday, expanded classes, and interactive experiences;

  • Development of curriculum for new areas of the building – Teaching Kitchen, Clay Studio, Rooftop Garden, and Digital Media Lab.

This plan helped us transition into our new facility.  In 2017, the Board and staff will begin a new long-range planning initiative.

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 has doubled. Eight years ago, the LASC was working in 7 Kentucky counties. This year, we reached nearly 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 can now expand with our new facility. 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 also provides a free after-school program, Art Explorers, at William Wells Brown Elementary and Lexington Traditional Magnet Schools, both Title One schools in our neighborhood.  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.

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

With the completion of our renovation and expansion project, we are now able to return our full attention to the growth and development of our programming, building our organizational capacity, increasing our programmatic and operating support.  We have been extremely encouraged by the very positive response to our expanded facility and have very positive indicators of the growth of contributed support as well as increased earned  income.
Board Chair
Board Chair Coley Stilz
Company Affiliation Kinkead & Stilz
Term July 2016 to June 2017
Board Members
Ryan Atkins Kentucky UtilitiesVoting
Paige Bensing LexMarkVoting
Joseph Coleman Kentucky League of CitiesVoting
Markus Cross Community VolunteerVoting
Harriet Dupree Bradley Dupree CateringVoting
Colmon Elridge The Council of State GovernmentsVoting
Heather Hadi Law Office of Heather HadiVoting
Brendon Halvorsen Chase
Emmy Hartley Cornett IMSVoting
Dan Hitchcock Wyatt Tarrant & CombsVoting
Debra Hughley Clark MaterialsVoting
Diane Loeffler University of KentuckyVoting
Stacie Marksbury Marksbury Family FoundationVoting
Maggie Mick The Council of State GovernmentsVoting
Gregory Pettit Guthrie/Mayes Public RelationsVoting
Chad Rudzik Fifth Third BankVoting
Coley Stilz Kinkead & StilzVoting
Meredith Walker Bluegrass Sotheby's
Mrs. Yajaira Aich West PNCVoting
Gina Whitis Dean Dorton Allen FordVoting
Robert Williams Unified Trust CompanyVoting
Ellen Williams Kentucky American WaterVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 18
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 1
Other 1 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 10
Female 12
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 $5.3M campaign not only served the organization, the neighborhood and the community, but propeled the organization to be accepted as an arts and education destination for visitors from across the state and in our several contiguous states. 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 offers so much on the inside and outside of the building, is a vibrant and creative addition that enhances the quality of life for all. With our continued movement forward, the LASC will be poised and ready to move into our next 50 years!

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.

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 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 9
Part Time Staff 3
Volunteers 160
Contractors 40
Retention Rate 92%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 10
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 Office Manager
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
At the LASC: Each year, over 400 classes are offered for pre-school students up to adults.  Classes include a wide range of media, such as painting, drawing, pottery, animation, weaving, architecture, cartooning, cooking, digital media, astronomy, and more.   Classes provide examples of the close connections between art and science, such as natural history illustration, robot building, bridge design, weaving, etc.  
In the Schools: LASC provides free art and science programs to public schools with large percentages of at-risk students, including a 12-week Science Explorers program in five at-risk elementary schools, and a 16-week Art Explorers program in a Title I elementary school and a Title I middle school.  Additionally, the LASC offers tuition-based after school classes at eight 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. 
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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.  Such as:

Discovery Night: The first Thursday of every month, this is a free family friendly event with guest artists and scientists, as well as hands-on activities.
Discovery Saturdays - A NEW program , Discovery Saturdays give families an opportunity to explore all that is new at the LASC. Visitors can explore the new Discovery Exhibit, create work in our Moosnick Maker Space, and view planetarium shows in Lexington's only Planetarium.
Day of the Dead Festival: Hundreds of community partners participate in this festival of traditional music, dance, exhibits, food, art and craft making, and an altar display in the nearby cemetery.  This event presents an authentic experience of this colorful Latin American holiday.  Held on November 1, the 2016 festival attracted over 3000 guests from all over Central Kentucky.

Neighborhood Events: The LASC reaches out to our inner-city community and provides free annual programs such as 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.
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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, as well as for adult groups.  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 nearly 30 Kentucky counties participated in field trip programs at the LASC.  Several options for field trip programs include:
Discovery Exhibits - This exhibit focuses on Core Curriculum 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.
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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 Discovery Dome Planetarium which is taken into schools and libraries; 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.  Currently, the exhibit, Out of This World: A Space Adventure, focuses on outer space and the space program.  LASC teachers guide students through explorations numerous artifacts from NASA, an Orion space shuttle model and flight simulator, and more.
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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 enormously proud to have completed our $5.3 million Capital Campaign and to have reopened our beautiful new building and renovated Kinkead House.  This project enabled the LASC's programs to have their own unique space in which to operate and has allowed the LASC to conduct multiple programs simultaneously.  
Programs are drawing new and increased audiences, new programs have been expanded and the LASC is on course to move into our 50th year (2018) in excellent fiscal, programmatic and operational strength. 
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 6
Date Strategic Plan Adopted June 2014
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 also partners with other arts and non-arts organizations such as Lexington Children's Theatre, Casa de la Cultura de Lexington, LexArts, Kids Cafe, Transylvania University, and Fayette Co. Public Schools. 
Commerce Lexington2017
UK Nonprofit Forum2017
National Endowment for the Arts - Partner2017
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
Non-Profit AwardCommerce Lexington2016
Urban Innovation AwardDowntown Lexington Corporation2016
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2017
Projected Revenue $656,500.00
Projected Expenses $656,500.00
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 Year201520142013
Total Revenue$1,169,340$1,834,731$3,116,812
Total Expenses$577,402$591,960$585,578
Revenue Less Expenses$591,938$1,242,771$2,531,234
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 Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$142,866$1,769,879$1,144,232
Individual Contributions$761,726$1,464,699$1,762,825
Investment Income, Net of Losses$7,177$7,392$105
Membership Dues$0----
Special Events$79,837$60,247$53,548
Revenue In-Kind$16,950$67,371--
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$400,816$405,177$397,898
Administration Expense$108,453$105,998$110,996
Fundraising Expense$68,133$80,785$76,684
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.033.105.32
Program Expense/Total Expenses69%68%68%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue7%2%3%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$5,773,809$4,813,703$3,518,877
Current Assets$2,972,384$3,866,040$2,776,952
Long-Term Liabilities$33,564$42,901$40,302
Current Liabilities$437,960$55,697$24,938
Total Net Assets$5,302,285$4,715,105$3,453,637
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Campaign Purpose We just completed a Capital Campaign of $5.3M which enabled the LASC to build an 11,000 sq. ft. addition and to renovate our historic building.
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
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 Coley Stilz
Board Chair Company Affiliation Kinkead & Stilz