About the Kids’ Own Team

Kids’ Own has a core team of four staff who are committed to delivering on the vision and mission of the organisation. The team has a range of expertise across visual arts, literature, academic, digital media and education fields of practice. Kids’ Own also has a panel of freelance practitioners who support our work in the areas of finance, design, communications and video editing.

Jo Holmwood

Creative Director

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Jo is Creative Director of Kids’ Own and has been working with the organisation since January 2009. During her time with Kids’ Own, Jo has designed and rolled out dozens of projects, including collaborative book projects, early years and family engagement programmes, touring exhibitions, online initiatives, research projects and sectoral development workshops. In her current role, she has overseen the publication of two new children’s books, A Strong Heart and I Hope You Grow, with a third book due for publication in spring 2019. She also has a strong background in fundraising, advocacy, strategic development, building interagency partnerships and research and evaluation. Jo has worked in a freelance capacity as a translator and copy editor, and she is also developing her own practice as a writer. In this latter capacity, she has published short stories and has directed and produced her own work for the stage.


Emma Kavanagh

Digital Content Manager

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Emma Kavanagh graduated from NCAD in 2004 with a Bachelor of Design specialising in Metalwork. In 2009 she earned an Honours Postgraduate Diploma in Arts Policy & Practice at the National University of Ireland, Galway and since then has been working in the professional arts and cultural sector. Emma has a passion for community and educational arts practise and has worked on a variety of projects with Sligo Arts Service, Culture Night Sligo, Forum Theatre, RAPID and The Model. Through this work Emma also discovered a keen interest in digital media and technology which led to her role as a Digital Media Executive with Bua Marketing and OSD Digital Agency. Becoming a member of the Digital Supports Consultants Team for Fáilte Ireland, where she mentored several arts venues and festivals, assisting them in growing their digital presence. In her current role as Project Manager with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership Emma has continued to utilise her skills in digital media while developing skills in project management, including project planning, delivery, research, budget and event management.


Alice Lyons

Creative Director (maternity cover)

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Alice Lyons, a poet and cross-disciplinary artist, holds a Ph.D. from the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Queen’s University, Belfast, and postgraduate degrees in Sociolinguistics and Fine Art from the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University, respectively. Her third collection of poetry is The Breadbasket of Europe (Veer Books, London, 2016). Among the honours she has received are a Radcliffe Fellowship in Poetry & New Media, Harvard University (2015/16) and the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Poetry (2002). Alice has worked for many years as a lecturer in English and Fine Art and as a literary and fine arts curator. She was visual arts curator at The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim (2008-2015), Assistant Commissioner for Ireland at the 2009 Venice Biennale and Curator of Poetry Now, Dublin’s international poetry festival (2014-2017). In her new role at Kids’ Own, Alice is project manager with responsibility for Virtually There and is excited about bringing to bear her passion for the literary arts in all aspects of the company’s work.

Ciara Gallagher

Project Manager

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Ciara has worked as researcher on children’s books projects including the National Collection of Children’s Books at Trinity College Dublin, and “Gender Identity: Child Readers and Library Collections” at the Centre for Children’s Literature and Culture, Dublin City University. She is the co-editor of the volume Constructions of the Irish Child in the Independence Period 1910-1940 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Ciara has worked with the Museum of Childhood project, and helps to run a small charity, Providence Education, which supports Providence school in north-east India. She has also taught in a number of universities in Ireland and has worked in various administrative positions in the non-profit and public sector.