Phoning It In: Yesterday, the 20 members of the Artist Trust board made 90 phone calls—to former staffers, supporters, and colleagues, so they'd know first that Margit Rankin wasn't Artist Trust's executive director anymore. "Not one person was surprised," said incoming board president Stephanie Ellis-Smith. "I think people just knew that something was just off, and it wasn't a great fit." At least six staff members, some fixtures, departed during Rankin's tenure, which ended abruptly yesterday with an announcement that she had "resigned." Will any of the longtime staffers return? Too early to say. A national search starts soon for a new ED. "Transitions aren't the end of the world, there's no terrible malfeasance or any ethical thing, it's just the board doing their job, and an executive who understands the need of the organization," Ellis-Smith said. "It's mature, and it's amicable, and it's a good thing. And we're also open to people's comments about going forward." Comment!
Fantagraphics Weighs In On $15/Hr: Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter asked Eric Reynolds, associate publisher at Fantagraphics, how the company would respond if Seattle's minimum wage increased to $15 an hour:
Reynolds said that while he didn't want to speak for an en-route-to-New-York [Fantagraphics publisher] Gary Groth with too much specificity, that his sense is that Fantagraphics is both generally in favor of the minimum wage being raised significantly and fearful that raising it all the way to $15 would, when combined with other financial factors that are having an effect on medium-sized business in terms of taxes and healthcare costs, make things more difficult for them. If a measure passed at the $15, they would likely consider a variety of options, including potentially recalibrating some positions in the office.
Musical Chairs—Publishing Edition: Pharos Editions, the local imprint devoted to reviving out-of-print titles, is forming a joint venture with Counterpoint Press, says Shelf Awareness. Pharos was originally partnered with local publisher Dark Coast Press, but co-founder Harry Kirchner says the imprint wanted to "find a partnership with a better established, slightly larger independent publisher."
WWTS (What will Tony Say?): Cornish College of the Arts has announced that legendary playwright Tony Kushner will deliver the commencement address on May 10 at McCaw Hall, where honorary degrees and awards will also be presented to "Same Love" singer Mary Lambert; choreographer/performer Amy O'Neal; and Deborah F. Rutter, soon to be head of the Kennedy Center in D.C. and before that head of Chicago and Seattle symphonies.
WITPOW (What Is the Plural of Web Series?): God only knows (The plural of web series is web series—God), but we're happy to report that a number of Seattle web series were this year singled out for special recognition by the web-entertainment industrial complex. Last week's LA Webfest honored three Seattle webseries: Chop Socky Boom (which was cited for Matt Sayre's theme song and lead actor Heath Ward), Wrecked (honored for writing and lead actress Bhama Roget), and Still (honored for directing, editing, visual/special effects and overall scifi/fantasy/horror series). The subsequent Indie Series Awards reserved all its Seattle love for Wrecked, with Bhama Roget winning Best Leading Actress in a Comedy and Jessica Martin winning Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.
Live-Tweeting the Idiocy: Here's what it's like to sit in on a meeting to discuss banning Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from an Idaho high school. Spoiler alert: The people who want to ban the book are assholes.
Almost 100 Years of Marriage: "Happy" anniversary to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre, who were married on this date in 1920.