Ethan Sharp, Grant Program Manager
Dany Waller, Earth and Space Science Coordinator
Living Arts and Science Center
362 N. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Lexington, Kentucky 40508
The Living Arts and Science Center (LASC) in Lexington, Kentucky, aims to inspire lifelong participation in the arts and science with programs that support exploration, discovery, education and creativity. Established in 1968, and located in a low-income residential neighborhood east of Lexington’s downtown, LASC has become a vital resource for the neighborhood, the city of Lexington, and the state of Kentucky, reaching more than 40,000 people each year. For more than forty years, LASC’s main facility was a historic building, built in 1847, by the abolitionist George Kinkead. In 2016, LASC dramatically increased its capacity to support inquiry and learning in the arts and science, by opening a state-of-the-art addition that houses a planetarium, a digital media lab, the Discovery Gallery, the Glo Gallery and other valuable educational spaces. LASC’s facility is the only one in Lexington with a planetarium and interactive science exhibits that are easily accessible to the public and used throughout the year.
LASC’s services include hosting field trips for an average of 10,000 K-12 students from schools across Kentucky every school year; offering more than 350 arts and science classes for children and adults during evenings, summer and other school breaks; organizing community educational events, like monthly Discovery Nights and Discovery Saturdays, which feature demonstrations by professional artists, scientists and educators, and hands-on activities; providing after-school programs, including the award-winning Science Explorers program which enrolls more than 100 students in 5 Title I elementary schools every semester; and offering professional development for K-12 teachers in Central Kentucky. Many programs, like Discovery Nights and Science Explorers, are provided at no cost to participants, and hundreds of scholarships are awarded every year allowing children from low-income households to enroll in classes for free.
In 2019, with support from the NASA Kentucky Space Consortium, LASC implemented weekly planetarium programs and other programs supporting space education, and continued to build audiences for the WOW: Wonders on Wheels traveling outreach programs. Over the past year, WOW programs, which typically incorporate activities in LASC’s inflatable planetarium, were sent to schools and libraries in more than 50 Kentucky counties, reaching nearly 12,000 children and adults in communities with relatively few educational enrichment opportunities. LASC is committed to expanding the reach of traveling outreach programs beyond Kentucky, and being a regional leader in demonstrating the connections between the arts and science. LASC is a member of the national Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC).