Local journalism requires local journalists. Each week for the next few months, we will be highlighting the Beacon staff members who serve our community, including Kerry Clawson. Here’s how you can support the work we do.
Meet Kerry Clawson
Position: I am the artistic writer and I also write for the Beacon Journal restaurant. My work includes writing human interest stories about the many talented artists in our community as well as premieres and reviews of performances in Akron and beyond. My restaurant articles include articles on local flavors on dining experiences as well as other restaurant news. During the nearly 30 years that I worked for the newspaper, I have also been a general reporting editor, business writer and editor.
Why I became a journalist
Journalist John-Boy from “The Waltons” TV show was the first to spark my interest in the world of reporting, especially when he covered the Hindenburg disaster. But I really got hooked when I competed in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in 1983, and a reporter from the old Cincinnati Post accompanied me to Washington, DC, to cover my progress throughout the two-way competition. days. Her name was Linda Parker and I wanted to grow up to be like her.
What I like most about my job
I love getting into the minds of artists – including directors, choreographers, actors, playwrights, dancers – and learning about their creative process. Thousands of talented people are part of the creative culture of this community, and they all have something meaningful to say. It is a privilege to be a part of this artistic process by chronicling, performing and sharing the voices of this creative work right here in Northeast Ohio.
A story I worked on that had a lasting impact on me
I had the joy of writing the most personal story possible in 2001 about the birth of our miracle baby, Elise. She was born with a rare birth defect, and I had the opportunity to share the journey of faith that my husband and I have continued to bring to life with our beloved daughter. It was a very raw and rare opportunity for readers to get to know me as a person. Elise is now 20 years old and thriving in college!
What is the biggest challenge I face?
One of my biggest challenges over the years has been finding enough time to tackle all the great artistic stories I want to cover! It’s always a good balance, but my constant goal is to do justice to as much local creative work as I can through my writing.
What I like to do when I’m not working
I love to travel, sing in my church choir, participate in my women’s book club, and sip delicious wines. I have also spent many years attending artistic and sporting events for my three children.
Favorite event or tradition of the Akron region
One of my favorite events in Akron is the Ohio Mart at Stan Hywet, where my family and I go crazy over freshly baked gingerbread cookies. We eat our way through this festive fall event and also love to browse the many artisans. My family and I also have a tradition of picnicking on the lawn each summer at the Blossom Music Festival, enjoying the wonders of the Cleveland Orchestra and its beautiful summer house.
Why journalism is important
Art journalism enriches, entertains and informs. I always say the arts and entertainment are what make the world go round – they help us all make sense of this world. Writing about local artists is as hyper-local as it gets, and the artists’ stories are worth hearing in our community.