Laura DeMarco is an award-winning journalist, author and lecturer with over 20 years’ experience covering arts and culture, historic preservation, pop culture, dining and retail, travel and entertainment. She is the author of several books, including “Lost Cleveland,” “Cleveland Then and Now” and “Mark Twain’s America Then and Now.” She is currently at work on a book on “Lost Civil War Heritage,” planned for a 2021 publication.
For two decades, Laura has introduced Clevelanders and national audiences to the city through her journalism at The Plain Dealer, books and appearances on local TV and radio.
She held many titles at The Plain Dealer, including Friday Magazine Editor and Assistant Arts Editor. But it was as an Arts and Culture reporter that she made her biggest contribution. She has covered cultural institutions, movies and theater, music, fine art, pop culture trends, immigrant groups, festivals, historical preservation, neighborhoods and the forgotten stories of Cleveland’s most colorful characters.
Her signature coverage of events such as Dyngus Day, Kurentovanje, IngenuityFest and Paczki Day has helped put those events on the cultural map, while recognizing the pride a new generation of Clevelanders take in their hometown.
She has also helped bring Cleveland landmarks into the future, with a series of stories on the ways to revive the city’s storied West Side Market.
Laura was honored by Cleveland City Council for “outstanding commitment, dedication and significant contributions as an Arts and Culture reporter for The Plain Dealer specializing in local history and lost landmarks.” Her multimedia features on vintage Cleveland are popular with all ages, helping put the city’s past in context as it looks forward.
Laura is the author of the books “Lost Cleveland,” “Cleveland Then and Now” and “Mark Twain’s America Then and Now.” In “Lost Cleveland,” she shines a spotlight on the people and places of this once-great American city left for dead by so much of America. It was selected as one of only twenty books to earn the 2019-2020 Choose to Read honor by the State Library of Ohio.
In “Cleveland Then and Now,” she tells the history of the city through the transformed spaces that define it, helping to suggest a roadmap for the future. The prestigious Mark Twain Review called “Mark Twain’s America Then and Now” a “delightful travelogue” and said “Although too big to fit in a pocket, this book will serve vacationing Twainians just as the venerable Baedeker travel guides served Twain’s generation, so get some bigger pockets. For those who cannot visit every place Twain visited, this book is the next best thing–a fun and informative way to feel the past and present converge.”
Laura lectures at Cleveland schools, colleges, museums and historical societies on these topics and more.