Mariah Hanson, under her Club Skirts Marquis, created the world famous Dinah Shore Weekend in 1991. Credited as the original founder of The Dinah by leading LGBT press, Mariah originally produced The Dinah at the world renowned Palm Springs Modern Art Museum. Mariah’s first Dinah was sold out, packing every room of the museum, where party goers drank martini’s while surrounded by tens of millions of dollars worth of art. Mariah also booked entire hotels so that they were 100% lesbian occupied, brought in national sponsors, popular national recording artists, and kept all events in walking distance. The simple but daring concept, of creating a lesbian world within the city, catapulted the Dinah to international fame. Today, The Dinah is considered the largest lesbian event in the world.
Mariah has received the coveted key to the Palm Springs city, presented by openly out Mayor, Ron Oden in 1998. She has appeared in Out 100 list of influential lesbians, received numerous awards and accolades, including the nationally renowned Athena Award, a Legacy Award by Palm Springs Pride and a Lifetime Achievement award by The Coachella Valley LGBT Community Center. She’s receiving an Achievement Award with Lily Tomlin by NCLR in 2015 and have been voted #36 most eligible single lesbian by lesbian.com.
2015 marks The Dinah’s (as the event is affectionately called), 25th anniversary celebration. Plans are already in place to produce the most stellar Dinah in history. 2015 headliner’s include Meghan Trainor and Christina Perri.
In 2006, after almost 15 years of unheralded success, Mariah took The Dinah to yet another level. Booking The Pussycat Dolls and other top tier performers, she started a Dinah trend of picking the next big act in music. “In 2006, I wanted to step it up a notch. The Pussycat Dolls actually left their Black Eyed Peas tour to play The Dinah. It was momentous.” In ’07, Mariah and her Club Skirts crew continued the success of ’06 with an even bigger line up, including India.Arie, Uh Huh Her, Jackie Warner, Showtime’s L Word stars, Leisha Hailey, Kate Meonnig, and Jane Lynch and 35 other celebrities. Showtime’s The L Word joined with Mariah to produce Be Scene, an event in which L Word stars Kate Meonnig, Leisha Hailey, Jane Lynch, Ilene Chaiken and Alexandra Hedison mischievously judged pre-selected audience members as they acted out their favorite L Word scenes. In `08, Pat Benatar, Colbie Caillat, Uh Huh Her, Lisa Lisa, The L Word Stars and many more performers and celebrities joined The Dinah roster. For one weekend, thousands of women unite in the common bond of life affirming celebration. Women from all over the globe can’t help but leave a weekend like that changed for the better. I am proud to produce it.”Mariah says.
The 2009 Dinah continued Club Skirts ground breaking trend of a high profile, entertainment packed and star filled Dinah. Club Skirts hit a grand slam with both Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, as well as The Indigo Girls, Margaret Cho and Uh Huh Her. Logo Networks, Here TV, Sirius Radio, Showtime, Inc all came on board as exclusive sponsors of The Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend.
In 2010, Mariah defied the pundits who said she couldn’t pick the next big thing five years in a row and headlined Ke$ha, who went on to have five billboard hot 100 hits in her debut CD. Salt ‘N Pepa also united to perform one of the best concerts The Dinah has ever seen. Sarah Shahi, The Paradiso Girls, British Siren Lolene, legendary Martha Davis and The Motels were among the 40 celebrities either performing or appearing that year.
2011, The Dinah showcased Natasha Bedingfield, Dev and The Cataracs. 2012,, The Dinah brought in legendary Chaka Kahn and Nina Sky and Winter Gordon. 2013, Karmin headlined, with Havana Brown and Uh Huh Her.
2014 marked another banner year, with a solid gold line up of Grammy winners and nominees, including: Tegan and Sara, Mary Lambert, Eve, Eveleyn Champagne King, Thea Austin and record breaking chart topper Iggy Azalea.
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. She quickly branched out to a Saturday night dance Club, The Girl Spot, which reached international status, and was open for 15 years!
In 1996, Mariah brought the Dinah concept to Northern California, and The Monterey Women’s festival was born. A mini-Dinah, The Club Skirts Monterey Women’s festival was held for seven years. In 2003, Mariah bought The Cherry Bar in San Francisco and presented a seven day a week lesbian nightclub concept to San Francisco. She sold it in 2006 to focus solely on the Dinah and partnering with girl nightclubs around the country to spread the Dinah word.
Mariah completed two terms on the Board of Equality California, the non-profit organization that was pivotal in winning the marriage equality battle in California. She has served on the “Women’s Night” committee for the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Both organizations are past charity recipients of The Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend.
Mariah has always believed in giving back to our community. Past recipients have included The San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Community Center, GLAAD, The Women’s Building, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Jon Sims Center, Ladies Philharmonic, Uhuru Movement, various lesbian film projects, HRC, Lyon Martin Health Clinic, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Center, many gay and lesbian politicians, Yes on S, Yes on K, & More! Mariah thinks giving back is important. Do what you can!Posted at October 16th, 2011 by Tristan.