NEW ORLEANS, Friday, June 22, 2012 – An ad hoc committee met Thursday to set the groundwork for the newly created dashTHIRTYdash, a fund that will raise and distribute money to assist employees and contractors of The Times-Picayune slated to lose their jobs or a significant portion of their income Sept. 30 as the newspaper abandons daily publication.
The informal group includes community leaders, staff from the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans (which is serving as the fund’s fiscal agent), fund donors and Times-Picayune alumni. The committee also solicited input from current Times-Picayune staffers.
The group agreed to create a tiered system that will base the amount of money individuals receive on whether they are laid off completely by the company or lose some of their income because of the changes. That approach will allow the fund to award money to freelancers, newspaper delivery people and others who are not technically employees of The Times-Picayune Publishing Corp. and may not lose their entire livelihood because of the changes, but nonetheless will be hurt by them.
The fund expects to launch a straightforward and easy application process around Sept. 1 and intends to distribute checks within two-to-three weeks of the paper’s end of daily publication, which is expected to be on or around Sept. 30.
Individuals, companies or organizations wishing to donate to dashTHIRTYdash may send checks payable to the Contemporary Arts Center, but in the memo line of the check, please write DashThirtyDash Fund. Checks should be mailed to the Contemporary Arts Center, c/o Glenn W. Gruber, Associate Director/CFO, 900 Camp St. New Orleans, LA 70130. Contributions are tax-deductible.
A number of New Orleans-areas restaurants and bars are hosting fundraisers next week for dashTHIRTYdash. Other restaurants, bars or businesses interested in holding benefits for the fund or donating proceeds from sales of products or services should contact Times-Picayune alumna Rebecca Theim at the phone number or email below.
dashTHIRTYdash is a fund to financially assist employees and contractors of The Times-Picayune slated to lose their jobs or a significant portion of their income Sept. 30 as the newspaper abandons daily publication. The Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans is serving as the fund’s fiscal agent, which makes dashTHIRTYdash contributions tax-deductible. The fund also is benefiting from the professional expertise of CAC’s Accounting Services Program, which serves New Orleans-area non-profits.
The designation “-30-” historically was added by journalists to the end of their reports to indicate “end of story.” But on June 12, 2012, -30- took on a new meaning in New Orleans, as Times-Picayune staffers used it on Facebook and other social media to simply yet powerfully signal that they were among the roughly 200 staffers who will lose their jobs as the 175-year-old, Pulitzer Prize-winning paper pivots primarily to digital distribution.
dashTHIRTYdash is inspired by the post-Katrina “Friends of The Times-Picayune,” which was created in 2005 by four newspaper alumnae. That fund assisted employees across the newspaper who lost their homes or suffered serious financial losses after the storm.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Rebecca Theim (Times-Picayune alumna, 1988-94), 702-622-8154 (cell), rebecca at rebeccatheim dot com