Karen Watson


I am a co-founder and along with Jon one of two Artistic Director’s at East Street Arts.

Karen Watson

I work across most things in the company and I am specifically passionate about finding ways for artists and audiences/participants to work together to create work that impacts both.

I am interested in why we do what we do and this manifests itself through our business development, the projects we do, and connecting to research including supporting collaborative PhD’s.

I spend a lot of time on our allotment and garden and with our many houseplants, I collect plastic and metal crap that I find on the streets (which I will do something with at some point), I read loads about art, history and fairy tales, and when we are not in lockdown I love travelling and visiting cities especially those that have played a specific role in history.

I am a Leeds United fan.


  • Smiths (all of them)
  • Classics like Thomas Hardy, Andre Gide, and the Brontes
  • Bloody Foreigners – Robert Winder (book)
  • Midnight in Chernobyl  – Adam Higginbotham (book)
  • When Marnie was there – Joan G Robinson (book)
  • Paul Auster (all of them)
  • Art Production beyond the Art Market edited by Karen van den berg and Ursula Pasero (book)
  • Oldies such as Judy Garland and Nat King Cole (music)
  • The Walker brothers (music)
  • Could be called oldies by some Abba and David Essex (music all of them)
  • Lord of the Rings (book and film)
  • Blade Runner (book and film)
  • And The Sun Shines Now – how Hillsborough and the Premier League changed Britain. Adrian Tempany (book)