Karen O’Neill is Arts Catalyst's Chair of the Board of Trustees. She is the Chief Executive/Director of the Dukes, a multi art form venue in Lancaster delivering a programme of film, touring performance and in house productions including an annual large scale outdoor promenade summer season. The Dukes also has an award winning and diverse community engagement programme working across Lancashire. Since joining the Dukes, Karen has devised and driven forward a new business model and delivering a significant operational surplus.
Previously she was the Executive Director of the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, leading the organisation’s focus on sustainability through robust finances and commercial developments, she has secured over £1.1m in capital investment for the theatre and shaped the organisation as a core partner in the local area. Previously Karen was at the Palace Theatre and Opera House as Deputy General Manager working as part of the senior team delivering large-scale productions to audiences across the North West. Karen was a Clore Leadership Fellow (2017/18) and an International Fellow of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at Kennedy Centre in Washington (2014), one of only 4 UK fellows since 2008. Previously Trustee for the University of Huddersfield Student Union and has been a mentor of the Extend Programme through Engagement for the Visual Arts.