Humans of Lexington | Ashlee Chilton

I’ve been to the Kentucky Horse Park on many occassions and spent countless hours in the International Museum of the Horse. A few times, I’ve seen school groups in touring and was curious as to who was behind taking care of those visits.

Ashlee Chilton is the education coordinator at the International Museum of the Horse. She takes care of coordinating all of the visiting school groups. Ashlee joined the museum’s staff just over four years ago from the Kentucky Historical Society. She was looking for career advancement and wanted to be an educator, so this position was perfect.

She was “born and bred in Central Kentucky,” growing up in Harrodsburg.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

I like making history fun for all ages. We see visitors and groups ranging in age from 4 through 70+. I like that I can be creative.

If you had a warning label, what would it say?

“She’s a lot.” I can be very loud and opinionated. I really want to have fun all the time and people have told me I can get a little too personal. That phrase actually started out at work with my co-workers saying it since I liked to have fun. So it started there and has stuck ever since.”

What is your dream job?

“I’d move to New England and live the Gilmore Girls life – own a Bed & Breakfast with a little cafe and bookstore.”

What have you always wanted to learn to do?

“Skydiving. Pushing off the ledge is the hardest part for me though. I tried bungee jumping but someone had to push me. It’s taking that first step that is really daunting.”

Who knows you best?

“My best friend Ali who lives in Suffolk, VA. We met at UK grad school. She is an associate registrar at the Chrysler Museum of Art. I have an Art History Masters degree from UK. We text almost every day and when we get together it’s like the Gilmore Girls movie nights. We pop in a bunch of movies, have a ton of snacks and talk all night.

Toilet paper – over or under?

“I really don’t care as long as it’s on the holder.”

What is your favorite game?

“Call of Duty. I am also really good on drums in Rock Band.”

What tips do you have for people wanting to bring their kids to the museum?

“Talk about what the kids get excited about. Focus on their wow moments and don’t try to get them to engage with every exhibit. Basically, you can choose your own adventure here.”

What’s coming at the museum?

We are working on updates so there are more interactive exhibits. We are also hoping to bring back an international event in the fall and we are looking at a Derby event. We also have Museum Day Live in April which is in conjunction with the Smithsonian and you can get free admission for the day. There is always a theme and it’s very interactive.

Finally, we have a great Lunchtime Lecture Series with a lot of authors coming. We try as much as possible to highlight local people from Kentucky. This is a free event once a month and you can stay and go through the museum afterwards

To see who else has been featured in our Humans of Lexington (#HumansofLexington) series click here.