When the Lexington History Museum opened in 2004, the mission was to educate life-long residents and newcomers to the Bluegrass Region on the rich history of the area. Over the course of the last decade, the Lexington History Museum has experienced a great deal of change. As troubled and uncertain as some times have seemed, we are extremely happy to be entering into a new era of LexHistory, with new beginnings and a direct focus on education and outreach. You’ll notice that we’re now referring to ourselves as LexHistory. This name change is part of our effort to include all of our functions, not just that of a museum.
Our organization is currently without a permanent facility. Though we have been graciously been allowed to house our office in Victorian Square, aside from Pocket Museums, there is no permanent structure in which our exhibits are housed. We’re certainly in a unique situation and one that we hope that we do not have to continue in for a great deal of time. LexHistory’s director, Debra Watkins, is truly a wonder woman. As the only paid staff for LexHistory, she is responsible for educational programming and outreach, coordinating meetings with city government, volunteer orientation, and research. Assisting her is volunteer Natasha Collier, Manager of Development and Community Engagement. She reaches out into the Lexington community to discuss partnerships and fundraising opportunities with local businesses and individuals. As manager of our social media efforts, she analyzes latest trends in order to implement best practices. Through a dedicated team of volunteers, including our Board of Directors, LexHistory is currently able to maintain basic organizational functions. Unfortunately, there is a diminished capacity for us to move forward with many plans due to very little funding at present.
Though the organization has cut back many functions of a traditional museum, we are confident that until which time we are in a permanent building again, we will be able to fulfill our goals and our mission. In 2013, we served nearly 10,000 through community outreach and also unveiled our Pocket Museum program. In January of this year, we opened an updated version of In Black and White at the Lyric Theater. We hope to forge a partnership with the Lyric and other community organizations that will be mutually beneficial. We have also launched WikiLex, an online collaborative encyclopedia of Lexington history. Users can upload their own stories of Lexington’s history to contribute.
We’re very excited for what is to come in the remainder of 2014 and moving forward into 2015. There are plans for fundraising opportunities, but LexHistory is always accepting donations both monetary and in-kind. We also hope to expand our Pocket Museum program into more sites around the downtown area and are even working on exhibits as far out as 2017. This is a time of change and growth for LexHistory and we hope that you will want to join us on this journey.
For more information about our organization, visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. If you are interested in volunteering with us, please email Director Debra Watkins at firstname.lastname@example.org. To discuss community partnerships and donations, email Natasha Collier, Manager of Development and Community Engagement at email@example.com.