Karen O’Neill to join HOME as new Executive Director and Deputy CEO in November 2023

We are very pleased to announce that Karen O’Neill will be joining the team as our new Executive Director and Deputy CEO in November 2023.

Karen has been CEO of the Dukes in Lancaster, Lancashire’s only producing theatre and Lancaster’s independent cinema, since 2019 leading the organisation on a journey of transformation.  

Karen joined the organisation at a time of significant change and despite the challenges of the last few years, has successfully turned the organisation around. The Dukes is now thriving with a diverse and dynamic programme across film and theatre with increased engagement in communities across the Lancaster district. Karen has worked to remodel the organisation creating a strong financial base and partnerships both locally and nationally including Lancaster University, Lancaster BID, Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council. Karen successfully led the Dukes’ latest NPO application to Arts Council England and has overseen the return of the Dukes Play in the Park. 

Karen has also shared her knowledge and skills with other organisations as Chair of Arts Catalyst and as a Board member of Hope Mill Theatre and Theatre Porto. 

Karen is an arts leader with extensive experience in the theatre sector, in both a commercial and subsidised environment, leading organisations in the middle and large scale. She has a passionate belief in the power of the arts and culture to transform communities, regenerate towns and cities, influence positive social cohesion and drive economic development and growth. Karen is also a Clore Leadership Fellow (2017/18) and an International Fellow of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at Kennedy Centre in Washington (2014).

“We are delighted to welcome Karen as HOME’s new Executive Director and Deputy CEO. She brings with her a wealth of experience having led several arts and cultural organisations and building, in particular, a substantial network in the North West. She joins us at a very exciting time, as we further develop our current and future strategic priorities and continue to work closely with artists and communities in the region and create great cultural experiences for our audiences.”  – Dave Moutrey, CEO and Artistic Director at HOME 


“I am so excited to be joining HOME. HOME has long been an organisation I have admired for its creative work and how it has engaged both artists and communities across film, theatre and the visual arts. It is a brilliant time to be joining HOME and I look forward to working with the team to create more diverse and amazing creative experiences for Manchester and beyond. HOME is one the North’s most electrifying cultural organisations and I can’t wait to be part of it.”  – Karen O’Neill 


Karen will be joining HOME officially in November 2023.