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ARTIST INTERVIEW: Andrei Pamintuan
Published December 12, 2020

Translated by: Kirby Vicente

Good evening everyone. My name is Andre Nikolai Pamintuan. Today is November 12, 6:15 pm in Las Vegas  Nevada.

As what I mentioned earlier my name is Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan. Just a brief background about myself and what I  do and where I’m coming from. I’m a creative director and I put that in quotes. Some people say independent  producer, some people say arts manager, some people say director, curator. It’s really this sort of undefined kind of  job that we all do as arts practitioners. I guess for people to understand and for the sake of clarifying to people what I  do. These are some of the job descriptions I have to imbibe. I’m one of the founders of Fringe cultural and creative  industries of Fringe Creatives. What we are is a young company that produces a diverse group of contemporary  artistic expressions and design arts and cultural programs for community especially in our community based in  Poblacion Makati. We also stage works and productions independently. Just to give you a window or a background  for our business model in terms of what we do and the services we provide as an arts based organization. We do  arts, cultural management, curation so festivals, staging original productions and also be commissioned to do  productions an events by cultural organizations as well as our own initiatives. We also take on commercial events  and clients from brand awareness to campaigns as a way for us to diversify our revenue stream as an organization.  Of course the biggest part of what we do as an arts based organization is our community engagement so we design  our programs. We partner with private and public sectors and create interlinkages to provide free and accessible  programming to our communities in Poblacion but also beyond Poblacion. From art workshops, poetry workshops,  creative place making through murals, those kinds of things. One of the biggest things we do is the Fringe Manila arts  festival which was established originally as an non profit organization. What we do is we organize a multi arts festival  that is open access meaning anyone and everyone can participate. It’s non curated so as long as the artist make it to  the deadline of the registration we include the event in the Fringe Manila and we help promote all these arts activities.  The Fringe Manila Festival happens yearly every February during Filipino Arts Month and the idea behind Fringe  Manila was to provided platforms for independent artists, artists who don’t necessarily have a home. And to also fill in  the gaps of what is not seen and what is not heard in the contemporary sort of mainstream performing arts sector at  least in Metro Manila.  

We also run a space called The Pineapple Lab which is based in Poblacion Makati. It’s really sort of the headquarters  for Fringe where we do year round programming and of course we emphasize the value that arts bring to culture and  identity by showcasing a diverse mix of artists from different background and different levels of development.  Through Pineapple Lab we collaborate with cultural organizations to make art accessible to our audiences and for  our artists also to be able to participate in these activities which they normally get overlooked. Or when a more  established artist would get an exhibition or a performance in a bigger theatre. Part of Pineapple Lab is our mantra of  providing platform for the emerging artist, artists who are women and artists who are part of the LGBTQIA+  community. I think that stems from me being part of the LGBTQIA+ community as well as our executive director  Jodinand Aguillon and part of it are a team that is led by women as well. What we like to do in Pineapple Lab is to  actually develop new audiences and engage with communities. I think that’s really important for arts organizations or  for collectives to really try as much as possible to get audiences involved and take a risk oftentimes in the Philippines  or at least in the arts scene in Metro Manila it’s so hard to get audiences to support independent work. There’s an  idea on what a performance is or what a performance should be, and very similar to Sipat Lawin and Komunidad X,  we’re here to show audiences what performances and what artistic expression could be. That’s what we’re trying to  do to get audiences. Sometimes we have 50, sometimes we have 1, sometimes we have 13, sometimes we have  ourselves as staff. It’s been a struggle. But when you do get that audience and you just get that one audience  member to experience that performance that they normally wouldn’t go to or see then naturally that’s an in for them  to tell their friends and to spread the word about other ways of local artists expressing themselves. Of course this is  some sort of by accident but it’s not part of our ethos as Pineapple Lab and Fringe is to really look at arts as a tool to  strengthen neighborhoods and cities.

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