Rhina Valentin “La Reina” Founder and CEO of La Reina Del Barrio Inc. is a “Jane-of-all-trades” in the arts and entertainment industry. Rhina is a New York born Latina of Puerto Rican Descent. She is a Mother, Television Personality, Comedienne, Writer, Dancer, Producer, Director, & Choreographer. She is a graduate of the William Esper Studio Conservatory Master’s Program, studied Liberal Arts at Manhattan Community College, and has recently completed Business Wise -a business start-up and expansion training program offered by the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners.
As a multiple award winning performance artist, Rhina has captured audiences with her humorous style while simultaneously demonstrating her innate ability to touch upon the realities of life. She has been featured on HBO’s “Betty la Flaca” and has also appeared in nationally syndicated commercials such as Bally’s & 1800-Flowers. For the past 8 years she has been the popular hostess with the mostest as the infamous Cafe Con Leche Television personality for the award-winning talk show “OPEN Friday” on BronxNet TV. Additionally, she produces a reality TV web-series “Rhina Gets Lean” currently in its third season which follows her journey exploring various methods of incorporating healthy eating and fitness in order to design a healthy lifestyle not only for herself and her family, but for the Latino community as a whole.
Rhina has performed in some of the most prestigious entertainment venues such as Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Lincoln Center, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Los Angeles’ The Comedy Store as well as 100′s of Off-Broadway venues throughout NYC. Ms. Valentin has toured nationally visiting and performing at Universities throughout the United States and has served as Artistic Director of The Children’s Aid Society at CIS 166 where she was actively engaged in instructing middle-school students on the art of theater production. Rhina is also featured as a contributor in “Breaking Grounds/Abriendo Caminos”; An Anthology of Puerto Rican Women writers.
In addition, to developing her own company, Ms. Valentin continues to serve as a mentor/healer to many individuals dealing with adversity as not only a Domestic Violence survivor, but as an awareness advocate. She understands the importance of what it means to need support and have an outlet. Out of a desire to provide a platform for the many voices of victim she was honored to support, she co-created the first years Love Walk as well as produced and Off-Broadway show “Death Of a Dream” which earned her a proclamation from Mayor Bloomberg. She was the first official Madrina/Grand Marshal for the Milagros Day Worldwide Walk, and the keynote speaker at The Ray of Hope Walk against Domestic Violence produced by Omega Phi Beta, a National Sorority she was initiated into as an honorary sister in 2014.
Rhina’s arms are open wide with a love for her community and a deep desire to provide an opportunity for our Urban Youth to not only be heard, but make a difference in the world.
In 2013 Rhina was the first Official Madrina (Grand Marshal) for The Milagros Day Worldwide Walk.
Rhina has been recognized for her outstanding community service twice in 2012 by:
- Comite Noviembre as “Lo Mejor De Nuestra Comunidad“
- VIP-The Violence Intervention Program, Inc with Activist Survivor Award
In 2011, the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz, Jr. presented Rhina with a Certificate of Merit. Followed by 2 more recognitions Rhina “La Reina Del Barrio” Valentin was honored with a Proclamation from Senator Gustavo Rivera of the NY State Senate, 33rd District, for Outstanding Community Service not just in the Bronx but in the greater NYC area as well. In addition, a Community Service Award by The City of New York Bronx Community Board #6.
Also in 2011 Rhina Valentin was officially crowned La Reina Del Barrio at a special Official Coronation by her peers.
Her works as an artist include:
Producer, Director, Performance Artist, Emcee, Comedic Actress, Dancer, Writer, and an Arts Educator
Rhina has been distinguished with:
- 2009 Proclamation from the Mayor’s Office declaring “Death Of a Dream Day“ for the Off-Broadway production of “Death Of a Dream“
- 2007 BRIO Award recipient for Best Actress
- 2006 UAI recipient in Performance Arts
- 2005 Hola Award Recipient for Outstanding Female Performer in a Featured Role
- 2000 Village Voice crowned her “DIVA”
- Siempre Newspaper proudly granted her the title “La Diva de El Barrio”
Her most recognizable written works have been featured in:
- 2012 Breaking Ground/Abriendo Caminos: Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980-2012
- 2007 Latina Poets Festival at The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre
- 2006 Latinas Don’t PMS at The World Famous Apollo Theater
As an Actor Rhina is recognized for her role as:
- 2013 “Close Your Eyes” Tribeca Film Festival and now going to Cannes Festival
- 2012 Dona Sofrito on Cooking Channel’s “Culinary Adventures of Baron Ambrosia“
- 2011 “Miracle of Spanish Harlem“
- 2009 Co-Starred in Off-Broadway production of “Death Of a Dream“
- 2006 Reina in HBO’s “Betty La Flaca“
- Since 2006 to Present – Host of TV talk show “Open” Live every Friday on Bronxnet TV.
Rhina has produced and created:
- 2001 Diva Attack!
- 2002 Mirrors co-written with Sandra Rodriguez
- 2003 Metrogroove presented by The Point in June 2004
- 2004 OHMen which opened at The Baad! Ass Women Festival and later presented at Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture in 2005. A very successful, original piece by Rhina. Co-choreographed with Awilda Sterling-Duprey and accompanied by the celebrated Dominican/Haitian Band Palo Monte. This production was televised by award winning local cable show BronxLive in 2005
- 2009 Off-Broadway production of “Death Of a Dream”
Her own written works have been presented in:
- 2005 Latina’s Don’t PMS, which opened at Café Remy’s and presented in 2006 at The World Famous Apollo
Rhina dedicated much energy to the development of La Reina’s Barriolesque, which initially began as an open mic in 2004 at Carlito’s Café and materialized into a residency at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café with monthly performances every last Wednesday of the month, for an entire year. It was also presented at The Viva Bronx! Festival in 2005
She is also one of the founders, producer and director of:
- The Nuyorican Universal Theatre Society (NUTS)
- “Our Times” in 2007 with a successful presentation at Hostos Repertory Theatre
Off-stage she’s been featured in:
- Bally’s commercial airing internationally
- 1-800-Flowers airing nationally
Her pride and joy was that of being a Theatre Arts Director/Producer/Instructor of 5th-8th graders at
CIS 166 for the Children’s Aid Society, from 2005-2009.
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