Celebrating our 50th year serving Kentucky.
In the 1960s, the Junior League of Lexington began making plans to establish an arts and science center. Between 1965 and 1968, Junior League members met with leaders of local, regional, and national arts and science organizations to discuss their plans, and brought professional consultants to Lexington to assess the community’s needs and resources. Finding strong support for an arts and science center in Lexington, Junior League members established the Living Arts and Science Center (LASC) in 1968.
The Living Arts & Science Center (LASC) is today a unique and treasured cultural institution that reaches over 45,000 Kentuckians a year with innovative educational programs that augment traditional school programs and put a premium on fostering creativity.
The arts and sciences have co-mingled and cross fertilized each other for thousands of years, from everyday experiences (cooking, pottery) to astronomy and website development. Our emphasis on both arts and science recognizes the value of hands-on, interactive experience to learning, understanding and creativity. The LASC today offers more than 400 arts and science classes and workshops for children 18 months-old to adults, participatory field trips for over 6,000 students per year, monthly Discovery Night programs, community arts projects, numerous free and low-cost family events, and on-going free art classes for thousands of at-risk, special needs and underserved children, teens and adults. Its Glo Gallery also hosts several local artist exhibitions a year. The 40+ faculty on staff are ALL qualified professional educators and successful professionals in the arts and sciences. Its management staff of 12 represent many decades of professional non-profit success.
The LASC is unique in Central Kentucky – nowhere else can one find the diversity of learning opportunities offered to individuals, schools, artists, and agencies. The LASC is dedicated to making the arts and science — especially PARTICIPATION in these disciplines — accessible to all. LASC programming is offered at our downtown Lexington location as well as in schools, community centers, libraries, hospitals, parks and other facilities throughout the commonwealth.
The LASC is located in the beautiful Kinkead House, a stately home built by George B. Kinkead in 1847. Kinkead is notable in Kentucky’s history in several ways. Born in Woodford County Kentucky in 1811, Kinkead became a distinguished Kentucky lawyer and was appointed Secretary of State in 1846 by Governor Owsley. An abolitionist, in 1850 Kinkead became an attorney for Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd.
Following the Civil War, Kinkead developed a neighborhood for freed African Americans on land he acquired adjacent to the Kinkead House. This several block area came to be known as Kinkead Town and at one time included as many as 300 families.
The Kinkead House was loaned to the Living Arts & Science Center in 1970. In 1981, members of the Kinkead family donated the building and 1.5 acres to the LASC.
The LASC opened the Lucille Caudill Little Discovery Center as an addition to the Kinkead House in 2016, after a $5.5 million dollar renovation and expansion project that more than doubled its physical space. The LASC downtown campus now offers over 15,000 square feet of programming space that now includes a computer lab, science exhibition hall, a professional kitchen for teaching, an art gallery and Lexington’s only planetarium.