Ten Money Questions for Mariah Hanson
Lesbians all over the world have heard of the Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs, California and this year, Mariah Hanson, founder of The Dinah, has big plans for the ladies. Her star-studded line-up, taking place April 2-6, 2008, is considered the largest lesbian event in the world. Where the women are the money will follow and of course, these are the ones buying the first rounds of poolside drinks. Arrive early! Mariah takes a quick break from planning to answer our questions about the price of girl parties and what it might cost you!
1. How many smackers will it cost The Dinah-goer to do it up right?
About $230, if you’re talking smack.
2. What is your most significant memory about money?
Lol, that I liked it. Actually, I grew up poor and my Mother supported seven kids without much help. She was always worried about money. So my most significant memory is how money causes stress! However, I also saw how it seemed to command respect for those that possessed it.
3. What is your worst habit around finances?
I forget to pay bills. Or I pay them twice. I am not on a bill paying system cause I am so busy. So, as I write this I realize I need an assistant, but dammit, that takes money, and now I am worried.
4. How do corporate dollars play into The Dinah?
Corporate dollars are responsible for 20% of my budget. I could not produce such a stellar event without corporate dollars. I am fortunate to work with companies that have a sincere commitment to the gay dollar and whether gay or gay friendly, they believe in the market.
5. Should I buy a BeDazzler before attending the White Diamonds Fashion Show?
6. How do you give back to the community?
The Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles is my Dinah beneficiary. I am on the BOD of Equality California. I also attend numerous events throughout the year supporting causes and I donate several VIP Packages at auctions related to the event. I am a firm believer in giving back and think whether it’s a donation of time or money, every LGBT person should have an active giving program. We have a huge civil rights fight on our hands that no LGBT person should be ignoring.
7. What did your mom teach you about money?
See above. Now my Grandfather, different story. He was a Greek immigrant and an oil wildcatter and very successful. He taught me that money opens doors and earns you not only interest, but respect. And my Grandmother, she taught me that the penny is the captain of all money and should never be thought of as insignificant. Course, they were made with copper back then.
8. I understand ticket sales are up 40% over last year. Are lesbians immune from the sluggish economy?
They are not but The Dinah seems to be. It’s been through two recessions now and neither seemed to affect it much. Thank God!
9. Do you and your girlfriend see eye-to-eye on money?
She likes to shop more than I. But we both see the importance of looking ahead and planning accordingly.
10. Money can buy a lot of fifteen-dollar Passion Martinis, but can it buy happiness?
That depends upon your definition of happiness…
More about Mariah Hanson
Founder of Club Skirts and The modern day Dinah Shore Weekend, Mariah Hanson produced her first solo Dinah Shore Weekend in 1991. Taking over the stunning Palm Springs Museum, booking entire hotels so that they were 100% lesbian occupied, bringing in national sponsors, current national recording artists, and keeping all events in walking distance, she developed a Dinah concept that is still imitated today. The simple but daring concept catapulted the Dinah to international fame. Today, The Dinah is considered the largest lesbian event in the world.
Mariah began her entertainment career in 1988 when she debuted Club Skirts, originally as a Sunday night dance club for San Francisco/Bay Area women. For more information, visit www.TheDinah.com.
Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.