Categorized | A Conversation With

Lisa Bonner

Posted on 18 April 2013

lisa bonner for web

by Annette Hinkle

Lisa Bonner who, through her new business venture Hippy Cool Entertainment, is sponsoring an alcohol-free dance party for adults this Friday evening at the Bridgehampton Community House.

Why do you think there’s a need for a dance like this?

I was thinking about it for a while. There’s not a great deal to do here socially other than go to restaurants and bars and I don’t know if people can afford it at this time. If you want to meet up with a friend its $70 or more to go out. Even when you go to the movies and you don’t get to talk there.

I wanted to start a business of affordable adult events. So I decided to roll out with what I’m doing. I think there’s a need for it. I love to dance, and so many people I know like to also. You can just come dance for $20.

It’s an alcohol-free event, which many people are touting as a great way to socialize while setting a good example for our children. It also provides a way for members of AA to have fun in a safe environment. Was that a conscious choice on your part?

It’s part of the mission too. My whole development of Hippy Cool is offering healthy alternatives so people have options. OK, I can do this this weekend with these people, without pressure. It’s about creating a healthy respectable environment for anyone who wants to participate.

What age group are you expecting?

There will be a lot of people in their 50s there, but I also want to speak to the youth who don’t want to drink and can connect with one another. When I was in business and had young people who worked for me, there was nothing for them to do — these are kids who come back from college and are ages 21 to 32.

Living in a high rent resort community with an economy defined by service industries doesn’t really encourage this group to stick around long, does it?

It’s about keeping young people here. It’s a really bad situation. They’re so talented, but they’re depressed. When I talk to them they feel so carpet bagged and used – it’s an effort. Half of them aren’t working.

A lot of these kids are well educated and here living with their parents. There’s no alternative. This weekend, even for me, is to get people involved.

…and to get people to make meaningful connections.

I have to take this to a different level. It scares me — the isolation, especially of the young, is not good for society. It makes it too vulnerable. People need to connect on a physical level rather than online. That’s really important and a whole aspect that’s missing.

The other thing is the businesses — interdependent commerce. I feel we need to support local commerce, the young entrepreneurs like Theo Foscolo’s Miss Lady Root Beer project. So I’m feeding the same machine – which is us — in our immediate community. I’m going to try to speak this week with people who could supply the food service for this. It will be introducing an actual service or product to a group of people who may not necessarily know about it.

The whole idea behind my small business is they bring in whatever they have to offer and I’m cultivating it. What I’m trying to do is lay the groundwork for opportunity.

In addition to this Friday’s dance, what are some of the other events you’re looking to host through Hippy Cool?

I’ve talked about having a kayaking event in June and perhaps a bike ride. I’m focusing the actual events on specific age groups and on the website define the physical limits. The next event will be a Tea Dance from 4 to 9 p.m. on May 25 at 360 East in Montauk Downs.

So tell me about the music that DJ Twilo will be spinning on Friday. Will there be something for the youngsters as well as us “oldsters”?

She’s very accommodating to all ages. There will be a little hip hop, some Michael Jackson. She touches on the ‘80s and mixes it well. She grew up in Germany so there will be Euro undertones to it.

Sounds like fun. Do you want people to buy tickets in advance or just show up?

They can buy tickets on line – to me that would be helpful to expedite the process. The music starts at 8 p.m. we’ll let it rock until 11 … as long as the music’s not too loud.

“Dance,” an alcohol-free evening for adults, is this Friday, April 19 at the Bridgehampton Community House, 2357 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton. Tickets are $20. Visit Hippycool.com to reserve.

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