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NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters in a war of words and wits
City Park’s Botanical Garden (5:00 PM)
New Orleanian songwriter performs at the weekly outdoor concert series
The Ogden Museum (6:00 PM)
Singer/ songwriter who has recently performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival and provided tour support for Raul Malo and the Wood Brothers
The Foundation Gallery (6:00 PM)
A screening of Maya's award-winning animation "Pareidolia" followed by a Q &A with the artist
Snug Harbor (8:00 & 10:00 PM)
The third evening of a chamber music festival that has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike
Hi Ho Lounge (9:00 PM)
Hip hop artist raps on St. Claude with his album Trap Hop
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Performing tracks from the new album 'What a World'
With the End of the Daily Times-Picayune Approaching, NoDef Speaks to one of the T-P's Recently Laid Off Employees About Life After a Daily Paper
Days from now, 3800 Howard Avenue will no longer serve as a second home to many whose relationships with the Times-Picayune date back decades.
“I found out over the news at 5am on May 24. My boyfriend and I were getting ready for work, and it was on WWL. I was dumbstruck. I just went in and waited to see what they’d want to say,” said Patty Pitt, referring to the moment she realized her career at the Times-Picayune was in jeopardy.
Pitt is a recently laid off Times-Picayune employee who worked in the Display Advertising Department for fifteen years. She is one of over 200 people who lost their jobs in the Times-Picayune’s shift from a daily print paper to a digitally focused publication.
Starting on Oct. 1, loyal readers will find their front porches empty on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and print enthusiasts will be forced to reevaluate their wakeup routines. Newly founded nonprofit dash thirty dash aims to raise money and assist those laid off in the shift, and they’re holding their sendoff fundraiser and auction, “Black, White, and Read All Over,” on September 29.
Dash-thirty-dash exists as a means for those losing their jobs in the transition to stay on their feet. The nonprofit’s online auction is happening now, and bidders can choose from a wide range of celebrity-donated items such as tickets to the Ellen Degeneres show, VIP tickets and backstage meet n’ greet passes to Anderson Cooper’s show, and breakfast with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien! There is also a large selection of TP-inspired items from local artists and business owners such as bags from Tracy Thomson, custom millinery from Yvonne La Fleur, and artfully crafted Muses shoes from Christie Theriot Woodfin.
The list of celebrity donors continues. Anyone interested in the auction items can visit the dash-thirty-dash auction website. The online portion of the auction will end when it goes live at the Howlin’ Wolf at Black, White, and Read All Over.
The Times-Picayune issued a statement on what they say will be a revamped nola.com, to be overseen by Advance Publication’s Nola Media Group. President of the newly created company Ricky Mathews said the online shift will offer readers a more comprehensive news source.
"The Times-Picayune, under [editor Jim Amoss’] direction, is one of the finest newspapers in the country," said Mathews, "and NOLA.com is the number one news site in Louisiana. Our best path to success lies in a digitally focused organization that combines the award-winning journalism of The Times-Picayune and the strength of NOLA.com."
According to the T-P’s numbers, 32 percent of the Times-Picayune’s staff was cut. the bulk of the layoffs occurred to the newsroom staff, which lost 84 people total. The pressroom cut 19, amounting to 40 percent of their staff, and the entire human resources department was laid off. Many older reporters and members of the pressroom staff, especially those whose skills are geared towards print journalism, will likely struggle to find employment following the upcoming shift.
Advertising representative Pitt, who would have celebrated her 15th anniversary with the T-P in December, feels optimistic about her ability to find a new job. However, the abrupt shift has been difficult for her.
Pitt opted out of finishing out her last couple months of employment at the Times-Picayune. “I had to do something else, I felt like I could do something more productive with my time,” said Pitt. The longtime employee said that the layoffs created a divide between those offered continued employment and those who knew the date of their last day.
“It was very hurtful when people weren’t talking to me, maybe they didn’t have anything to say or didn’t know what to say. I felt like I was a pariah,” Pitt said on the atmosphere among the staff. Pitt left the paper at the end of August, and she said appreciated the T-P allowing her to leave.
Pitt is optimistic about finding future work. “I mean they want to advertise, there is definitely a need in the city for that,” she said. Pitt worked in automotive advertising, handling car ads and the classifieds for automotive dealers. One of the hardest parts of the transition for her was losing her clients, people she said felt more like friends.
“I miss my customers, I love my customers,” said Pitt. “I communicated with them on a weekly basis.”
The recently released employee is working from home. “Right now, I’m at home doing a home-based business that I started 3.5 years ago to supplement my income. I make homemade beef jerky,” she said.
Potential bidders who love homemade kitchen fare, one of Pitt’s Beef Jerky and Beer Baskets is up for online auction through dash-thirty-dash. Although she won’t be able to attend the September 29 event, Pitt expressed tremendous gratitude for the nonprofit’s work and wants to see more of her fellow layoffs take advantage of dash-thirty-dash’ work.
“I think their efforts have just been wonderful. I believe that Rebecca has just done a tremendous job,” said Pitt. “I hope that people who aren’t yet aware of the process will apply to get help. They need to know about this organization,” she said.
The organization is holding the event at the Howlin’ Wolf from 6-9pm, and general admission tickets are $30. Music will be provided by Camile Baudoin, Matt Lemler, the Charmaine Neville Band, the Pfister Sisters, Martin Krusche, and John Rankin. Patron tickets are also available, and those who want to go the extra mile (and get access to an open bar) can donate here. Those laid off and in need of assistance can apply for grants through dash-thirty-dash here.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Ryan Sparks, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Ryan Sparks, Kerem Ozkan
Michael Weber, B.A.
Assistant Managing Editor
B. E. Mintz
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Minced Media, Inc.