At Home: Can the archive inform the future?

Curatorial tour and discussion
Sat 20 April, 10am-12pm (brunch provided) 
Convention House, East Street Arts, St Mary’s Lane, Leeds, LS9 7EH

Take a walk through 30 years of East Street Arts. Explore the No Going Back exhibition and hear all the tales of project planning and delivery, highs and lows, first-hand from the co-founders. Karen Watson and Jon Wakeman will lead a discussion on how initiatives have informed the future creative direction of the organisation.


  • Jon Wakeman, Co-Founder of East Street Arts
  • Karen Watson, Co-Founder of East Street Arts

Speaker Bios

Karen Watson
Karen Watson is the co-founder of East Street Arts, a visual arts charity with local, national and international influence. Karen stepped down as Artistic Director in 2023, a role in which she led on the company’s vision, the delivery of artistic programme, strategic developments and partnerships. 

Karen has written regularly for industry and national press which has informed artist-led programmes and cultural policy. Her work advocating for independent artists and organisations has had national influence, and her passion and belief in artist-led workings has enabled many ideas to turn into sustainable and independent organisations. 

Karen was awarded an MBE by His Majesty The King in the New Year 2023 Honours List in recognition of her services to the arts.

Jon Wakeman
Jon Wakeman is the co-founder and artistic director of East Street Arts. The organisation, established in 1993, began with a shared vision of supporting artists, where provision within the visual art scene in Leeds was otherwise vacant. Over the 30 years, Jon has assumed almost every role, whilst nurturing the development of the organisation. The extent of his work has constantly expanded, much like East Street Arts.

Jon was awarded an MBE by His Majesty The King in the New Year 2023 Honours List in recognition of his services to the arts.

Other things!