Daniela Cristo Mantilla, Latinx Scratch Daniela Cristo is an Actor/Theatre Creative. She co-produces Latinx Scratch with Untold Collectiv and is a Resident Artist at Casa Festival. I first became aware of Theatre Deli when I was rehearsing for the production I Occur Here. Finding rehearsal spaces that are affordable, comfortable and central is almost impossible in London, and Deli is all of those things, so it was the perfect place for an emerging company to rehearse. Then, a friend of mine applied for space at Deli to set up Organic Rhythm: a group open to any Spanish speaking performer to meet once a week and train in our first language. We are getting space for free at Theatre Deli as part of their initiative to offer free space for community based projects, and their generosity and support has been unparalleled. Having many studios to choose from, a fully equipped bar and cafe plus a performance space has really offered me the opportunity to develop my work. It's convenient for companies to rehearse and put on performances in the same space, and it's a great venue to invite industry members and get a drink afterwards. It really offers the full package. Besides, not only are the staff always up to help, but the place is open to completely new projects and to give opportunities for people at the beginning of their careers. Being connected to Theatre Deli has really propelled my work as a performer and allowed me to get experience as a producer. Attending the sessions at Organic Rhythm has allowed me to keep training regularly after drama school at no cost and in a great atmosphere. Beyond that, my friend and I developed a project called Latinx Scratch: a night of short plays by Latinx writers to give more visibility to stories from my community and connect Latinx artists to the industry. Theatre Deli was the one who hosted this event. The event was a success and sold out, and this had a lot to do with the cheap ticket prices and the central location. Latinx Scratch connected Latin American artists to those of many other backgrounds, got attention from casting directors and programmers from important off west end venues. Not many venues would support and initiative like this one in their very beginnings, and their belief in us gave us the first push we needed. Also, the eclectic and relaxed vibe of Theatre Deli is definitely attractive for people from wider backgrounds than a lot of traditional venues. Partnering with Theatre Deli allows me to decide the price on ticket sales, which definitely reaches audiences that wouldn't pay standard prices, either because they can ́t or because they are not theatre goers. If an audience member gets a great night for a cheap price, they are more likely to attend similar events even if then the price increases! Artists from the Latinx community need Theatre Deli. Emerging writers, performers and theatre companies need Theatre Deli. If it were to close this would affect the opportunities we have to create new work and access the industry. If venues who are really open to supporting underrepresented and emerging artists in every way they can shut down, the cultural sector will lack fresh voices and fail to engage new audiences. Theatre Deli exists to empower artists who want to change the world. We do this by creating free & affordable opportunities for marginalised artists to make & experience art. To keep our work going, we need to generate over £1.5 million a year to cover our costs. In 2019 we need to fundraise £200,000 to support the next stage of our growth. Donate here.