Located in Lexington’s historic East End, the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden is the first park in the United States to honor the earliest African American professional athletes: Thoroughbred jockeys. The Garden, located on land once owned by three-time Kentucky Derby winner Isaac Murphy, is the entrance to Lexington’s Legacy Trail. The trail winds through Lexington and ends at the Kentucky Horse Park, where Isaac Murphy is laid to rest. Murphy was the first African American jockey inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1955.
A number of community partners have long supported the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden; however, funding is still needed to realize the full potential of this destination and to celebrate the rich history this park represents. While the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden serves as the gateway to Lexington's East End, the park is underutilized. With additional funding, organizers plan to install more permanent art displays, add additional lush landscaping with water features and provide programming to engage the community and celebrate the story of Isaac Murphy.