When Lisbeth Scott was growing up, women often didn’t support other women. They competed. Women were not always raised to follow their ambitions or their dreams. Much has changed compared to the present, and Lisbeth Scott finds that encouraging, but also inspiring to do even more. In this follow up to the challenges faced by women in music, Lisbeth Scott shares how she found support and how she now helps other women pick up their Forgotten Dreams.
Have you had any female mentors or heroes in the industry?
There have been a lot of people that have acknowledged my talents and abilities and encouraged me. One was a dear friend named Elaine Anderson that I met through another friend. She wasn’t a musician, but rather in the counseling and therapeutic world. She created a support group for women in which we could get together and talk about our experiences on a day to day basis, our frustrations and dreams. That was a huge support system for me.
I should also say what a huge support Sally Stevens, a well known singer, writer and vocal contractor, was and is and always has been. She has been my main support in the industry. She is just a spectacular woman.
This might come as a shock, but there have been several wonderful men that have encouraged me in my career. Good people of course, like my high school Jewelry teacher and English teacher. And like the hugely talented composer Nathan Barr.
Yes, I wanted to major in jewelry for about five years. I was in love with making jewelry and jewels.
Anyways, he used to say, “You are such a renaissance woman. You can do whatever you want. Just go out there and do it. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t, and don’t let anyone tell you how you should do it.”
When i was in high school, women competed with each other. I think women are more comfortable and more secure supporting each other now.
I am so happy to see where the world is at these days in terms of how women are supporting each other and creating environments in which women and girls can prosper. Many more producers and directors are hiring female composers now than ever before.
It is a powerful time for women, and I am loving all of the strong female role models we are seeing in the media. It is such a powerful experience to see a woman take charge on screen and in real life. There are people like Reese Witherspoon, who inspires me daily. Oprah Winfrey, who is a huge inspiration for me. She embodies the person I would love to be, who is constantly working to create peace, whether it is between two people or two nations.
It’s one of the reasons I started my own foundation called The Forgotten Dream Project.
On the Forgotten Dream project, where does that stand right now?
We work with women in South Central, giving small grants to help women reach some dreams that may have been forgotten. I grew up in a time when the women who were in my mother’s world were expected to dump everything, support their man and raise a family. I think a lot of problems happened because of that. My own mother could not find it within herself to say to me, “You’ve got it, you go do whatever you want to do.” I never got that from my mother. So I think it’s very exciting where we are right now. We can say that to each other!
We give between 3 and 4 grants a year. They’re $2,500 small grants for arts and education for women. There’s no upper age limit, but you do have to be 18 or older.
For example, I had given money to a grandmother who had to raise her child’s children and never had a chance to study music as she wanted. She was able to pick up jazz trumpet again. There was another woman who got her GED. Another who is taking English classes, because she couldn’t speak English well enough to get a good job to help support her children. There’s another woman who wanted to be a lawyer. I just think it’s really, really important that women support other women.
There’s been some discussion of how men and women can help support each other. Have you seen this happen?
Yes. A dear friend of mine, who happens to be a man, told me recently about a really wonderful hour long special on Netflix called Hannah Gadsby’s: Nanette. I highly recommend everyone watch it, male or female. It’s a very beautifully written expose of what it’s like to be a woman and to be different in this world and the abuse and horror that one has to go through in these situations to live your own truth.
This friend of mine who recommended the show, has been calling all his female friends and saying, “You have to watch this special. It’s absolutely incredible, and I think you’ll really resonate with it. I just want to support this woman and what she’s doing.”
That’s pretty amazing. There are some incredible people in the world! Never forget that! Be one of them and do something kind and unexpected.
Cover photo is by Roberto Kozek.