P.O.Box 748
Lexington KY 40588
Contact Information
Address P.O.Box 748
Lexington, KY 40588
Phone (859) 907-9585
Contact Name Debra Watkins
At A Glance
Former Names
Lexington History Museum
Financial Summary
Mission Statement

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

Background Statement

The Lexington History Museum is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. The Lexington History Museum engages all people in the discovery and interpretation of the history of Lexington, Ky. and the Bluegrass Region. Incorporated in 2000, the Lexington History Museum, Inc. opened in the former Fayette County Courthouse in October 2003 in a partnership with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government. 

After nine successful years in the Old Fayette County Courthouse, the building was closed to undergo renovations, a process which could take years. We are working closely with LFUCG to assist in the revocation of the Old Fayette County Courthouse. 

We are currently in the process of rejuvenating ourselves.  We have taken a new name LexHistory.  We have committed ourselves to better serving our public's needs through new inventive programming, expanding our educational outreach programs, including extending our reach beyond Fayette County.  We will continue to offer exhibits to the public, through our pocket museum program and partnerships with other local institutions.  We have also developed a new website with more information for teachers, virtual exhibits and the Wiki-Lex.  We are also in the early planning stage of building a new home for LexHistory. 


Impact Statement
Top accomplishments last year:
1. Reached more than 8,000 people in our first full year as a museum without walls
2. Extended the service area for our education programs to include surrounding counties
3. Developed a new strategic plan to see us through our wall- less period and prepare us for an exciting future and a new location
Goals for this year:
1. Raise $50,000 for operating funds, and 10,000 for educational programming
2. To double the number of students served by our outreach programs
3. To begin phase one, new location plan
Needs Statement 1. $30,000 in annual operating funds.
2. $10,000 in Educational program funds
3. $250,000 for phase one of new location development
CEO/Executive Director Statement

Not many museums survive the lost of their building.  When the Old Courthouse was closed due to environment and other issues, it was quite a blow to us here at the museum.  We have taken the last two years, while still providing educational programming and exhibits in partnership with other organizations, to really look at our future.  We have taken the lessons of our past, what we did right and what we could have improved upon, what we learned from polling our community, and have put together a new game plan for the future.  We are committed to the future!  We are expanding our educational programming, working on exciting exhibits with partners like UK and the Lyric Theatre, and we are working on a new site for our museum that will combine all the wonderful artifacts in our collections with the 21st century technology that we had been lacking.  It is our goal to make history come alive here in Lexington.       Debra Watkins- Director

Board Chair Statement I am proud to serve as Board chair for the Lexington History Museum, and to follow the wonderful leadership provided by my successors, the late Dr. Thomas D. Clark and the late Dr. James Glenn. I have served as a Trustee since the Board was formed in 1999, as Chair since June 2009. As with most non-profit organizations, our major challenge is funding an adequate operating budget that allows our staff and volunteers to work their magic in mounting interesting, informative, and entertaining exhibits interpreting aspects of our community's rich heritage. My passion for the Museum is based on my personal engagement as an amateur historian. I enjoy my family's and my wife's family's genealogical heritage and easily transfer that passion to the Lexington History Museum. As a practicing attorney specializing in the legal needs of not-for-profit organizations, I further bring a professional perspective to my service on the Board. Foster Ockerman, Jr. Board of Trustees Chair Attorney-at-Law
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Tertiary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development-Citizenship
Geographic Areas Served
Fayette County
The history of Lexington, Ky., is bound tightly to that of Kentucky and the nation. As the first major settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains, Lexington served as a gateway to the nation's future expansion. European Americans, Free Blacks, enslaved African Americans, and Native Americans contributed to the development of the community in times of peace and of conflict. The impact of Lexington's history is not limited to Fayette County, but includes the state, nation, and world.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

1.It is our goal to spread our love for Lexington's history to as many Lexingtonians and visitors as possible, through pocket and full scale exhibits, educational outreach  and public programming

2.  It is our goal impress on students the importance of history, and how history impacts and informs us today

3.  To build a new home for LexHistory 
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

1. We need to increase the number of programs offered by LexHistory to appeal to a large audience.

2. Increase our publicity for event, exhibits, and programs

3. Increase our fundraising to include not only operating and educational program funds but also to create a  building fund 
4.  To work more closely with other area historic sites and partners
CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?

We have a wonderful if small staff and volunteer group that go above and beyond to make even the most impossible ideas happen.

We have cut our operating budget by limited our overhead, to allow us to put more of our admittedly limited resources into our programming.

We are working hard to build relationship with other historic sites, LFUCG,  the Public Library, UK and the Lyric Theatre.
We have grown our Social media to better connect us with our community. 
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?

 1. increased number of people served by our programming

2.  increase the number of event , program and exhibit partners

3. meeting our fundraising goals 
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?

We are partnering with UK and the Lyric Theatre for exhibits and Programming centered around the U.S. anniversary of WWI in 2017.

We are working on partnership opportunities with Waveland State Historic Site

We are in the early stage of selecting a museum design firm for our new location 
We have expanded our educational outreach programs beyond Fayette county 
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. William Ambrose
Company Affiliation Dupree Financial
Term July 2012 to June 2015
Board Members
Mr. Stephen G. Amato McBrayer McGinnis Leslie & Kirkland PLLCVoting
Mr. William Ambrose Dupree Mutual FundsVoting
Mr Peter J.W. Brackeny Bunch & Brock, AttorneysVoting
Mr. Kent Masterson Brown AttorneyVoting
Mr. Brad Canon Retired UK professorVoting
Mr. Jim Dickinson Community volunteerVoting
Mr. Tom Dupree Jr.Dupree Mutual FundsVoting
Ms. Kelly Johns StablemateCreativeVoting
Dr. Patrick A. Lewsi PhDKentucky Historical SocietyVoting
Mr. William Marshall Community volunteerVoting
Mr Burl McCoy Community VolunteerVoting
Mr Barry McNees Lexington Distillery DistrictVoting
Mr Andy Mead Community VolunteerVoting
Mr Foster Ockerman Community VolunteerVoting
Ms. Kathy Plomin Community volunteerVoting
Deirdre Scaggs UK Special CollectionsVoting
Ms. Cathy Schenck Keeneland AssociationVoting
Mr Christopher Snow Fayette County History TeacherVoting
Sen. Kathy Stein AttorneyVoting
Mr. C. William Swinford Community VolunteerVoting
Mr. Preston C. Worley McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie& Kirkland, PLLCVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 21
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 16
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 48%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 63%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 30%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Co-Chair
Board CoChair Mr. Barry McNees
Company Affiliation Lexington Distillery District
Term July 2011 to July 2014
Standing Committees
Capital Campaign
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Human Resources / Personnel
Program / Program Planning
CEO Comments We are blessed with an active board that takes its governance role seriously and works well both within the board as well as with staff and volunteers.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Mrs Debra G. Watkins
Term Start Nov 2012
Email debra@lexhistory.org

Debra Watkins has a B.A. in History from the University of Kentucky.  She has been with the museum 9 years, working her way up from Volunteer Coordinator to her present position

Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 25
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Quarterly
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Quarterly
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Quarterly
CEO Comments
Museum management operates on a transparent basis. The financial, board,  and employee records are open to the public during business hours.
Description The Edward T. Houlihan III Bluegrass History Fair is a fun and exciting learning experience.  This event fosters a love of history, develops public speaking skills, and teaches valuable research skills. The event is open to 5th grade student in Fayette and the surrounding counties, both public and private schools. Each participating schools holds and in-school fair, with Lexhistory's aid if needed, and then the top winners for each school move on to the Edward T. Houlihan III Bluegrass History Fair.  This event meets several Kentucky Core Content Academic Standards.
Budget $1000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), K-12 (5-19 years),
Program Long term Success In the 8 years that the program has been active it has reached more than 800 students at the overall fair and roughly 10,000 students at their in-school fairs.  One winner went on to write a book about his project!
Description Lexhistory offers a variety of educational programs to the schools at no cost to them.  These programs are designed at the request of teachers to aid them in make history more real for their students. We currently offer 6 programs, but more are developed as needed based on teacher requests.  Topic covered include but are not limited to Native Americans in Kentucky, Colonial life, Civil War in Lexington, and Understanding Sources.  
Budget $4000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), ,
Program Long term Success

We are seeing a growing number of new teachers taking advantage of our programming. 

We have seen the teachers come back to us year after year for these and new programs. 

We have served more than 15,000 kids in 6 years 
Description Dinner with the Dead is a unique living history event in Downtown Lexington.  It features interpreters telling the stories of real people who are buried in the cemetery, food, music, scavenger hunt, kids games and crafts.
Budget $1500
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served Families, ,
Description These are small case displays placed around downtown Lexington to form a walking tour of Lexington's history.  They are set up in businesses, offices, city hall, with the goal of reaching people who might not come to a full scale exhibit.  They topics are rotated twice a year. 
Budget $2000
Population Served , ,
Description  Our goal is to provide at least one full scale exhibit per year to the public, with the aid of our partner organizations.  These exhibits change in topics and locations but have cover such  topics as Native American, African America history in Lexington, Bourbon History, World War I, and more scheduled to come.
Budget $10000
Population Served , ,
Description We are currently working on developing new Public Programming, that will vary by age group.  For you 20 something's how about Trivia Night and a Pub Crawl?  For families, exciting interactive living history events.  We also want to feature movies, lectures and other styles of events
Budget $10,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Population Served , ,
Program Comments
CEO Comments

LexHistory is in a development period.  We are working to expand out programming.  Are goal is to have something for everyone.  Expect to see our program options double over the next five years. 

Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Aug 2014
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
American Association of Museums - Member2010
Commerce Lexington2010
Member Downtown Lexington Corporation2010
Gold AddyLexington Advertising Club2009
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2014
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2014
Projected Revenue $50,000.00
Projected Expenses $50,000.00
Endowment Value $8,288.94
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
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 Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$477,832
Individual Contributions$36,934$107,223$508,285
Investment Income, Net of Losses--$191$18,406
Membership Dues----$7,450
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$37,959$74,765$1,162,400
Administration Expense$16,983$16,323$301,546
Fundraising Expense$1,858$16,323$206,787
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.651.041.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses67%70%70%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue5%15%21%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$10,063$16,337$2,158,736
Current Assets$10,063$16,337$108,303
Long-Term Liabilities$13,592--$100,000
Current Liabilities----$786,664
Total Net Assets($3,582)$16,337$1,272,072
Form 990s
2013 990 2013
2013 990 2013
2012 990 2012
2011 990 2011
2010 990 2010
2009 990
2008 Form 990
2007 Form 990
2006 Form 990
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Campaign Purpose To raise funds to build a new, and up to date building to house the museum.
Goal $10,000,000.00
State Registration Yes
CEO Comments
Statements and other data are open to the public during business hours.
Foundation Staff Comments The Foundation staff corrected an addition error on the organization's Statement of Functional Expenses on the 2009 Form 990 when entering financial data for the 2009 graph.  The functional expenses as reported in the 2009 graph above are different from those reported on the Form 990 to the IRS for 2009.
Address P.O.Box 748
Lexington, KY 40588
Primary Phone 859 907-9585
Contact Email debra@lexhistory.org
CEO/Executive Director Mrs Debra G. Watkins
Board Chair Mr. William Ambrose
Board Chair Company Affiliation Dupree Financial