Mission & History

Mission Statement

Student at the LASCThe Living Arts and Science Center (LASC) inspires 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, opportunities to learn science and art directly from performing or exhibiting artists and scientists, collaborative experiences for the community, and educational programs in schools, community centers, and other venues to reach special needs, at risk and underserved children and adults.  The LASC offers free programming for all members of the Central Kentucky community.  The staff and board of directorsforward this mission through maintaining ethical standards and ongoing oversight of the programming offered at LASC.

Core Values
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.

The Living Arts & Science Center

The Living Arts & Science Center (LASC) was incorporated in 1968 and now annually presents more than 400 art classes and workshops for children 18 months-old to adults, 6 – 8 art exhibits, participatory field trips for over 6000 students, 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.  The LASC is a unique organization in Central Kentucky because of the variety of artistic services and opportunities that are provided to individuals, schools, artists, and agencies.  The LASC is dedicated to making the arts — especially PARTICIPATION in the arts — accessible to all and provides programming at our own inner-city location as well as in schools, community centers, libraries, hospitals, parks and other facilities.

The LASC is located in the beautiful Kinkead House, a 7,000 square-foot brick home built by George B. Kinkead in 1847. The Kinkead House is one of the few antebellum mansions remaining within the northeast quadrant of the original boundaries of Lexington. Built as a Greek Revival townhouse, the Kinkead House was remade in the Italianate style after 1853.

George B. 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, as freed slaves were moving to urban areas but were unable to acquire housing, Kinkead developed a neighborhood for African Americans in 1869-1870 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 and in 1981, members of the Kinkead family donated the building and 1.5 acres to the LASC.