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Retta Scott

March 13, 2024

Greg Gardinier, our tech support at OCHS, said one day he’d liked to see an article about some of the famous people who came from our county — he listed several, including Retta Scott, who was an animator for Disney Studios in the late1930s. I didn’t recognize the name nor did the other volunteers.  The “game was on” for what could we find —often this is how it starts at the Wilson Research Center.

Wikipedia and almost every other internet source regarding Retta starts out this way:

“Retta Scott was born in Omak, Washington February 23,1916.  She graduated from Seattle’s Roosevelt High School in 1934.  Scott received two scholarships over the course of her education.  The first was from the Seattle Art &Music Foundation, who awarded her with a scholarship in the 4th grade that she used to attend 10 years of creative art classes.  She later received (a) 3-year scholarship to attend the Chouinard Art Institute, so she moved to Los Angeles, California.”

Barry George looked for her ancestry and then dug into our maps to find if her father, William E. Scott, owned land at the time they were here.  He found that he did and may have rented other land.

We assume, when she was awarded her first scholarship as a fourth grader, that the family was living in Seattle by then. The Seattle Music and Art Foundation was organized in 1923 as a "non-profit organization devoted to stimulating greater interest in the (cultural) arts - particularly among the young people of (the) community." They opened the Free Creative Art School for Children in 1928.  Retta may have been among some of the first students to attend.

As we gathered more information, Marilynn Moses, who edits the Heritage asked if this information could be expanded and used as an article in our next issue?  We think so.

If you would like a quick overview of Retta’s career there is a YouTube Dizographies called Breaking the Glass Ceiling — Retta Scott.  This YouTube video is a little bit silly, but it gives a more in-depth overview of her career with more of her artwork, photos, and some archival footage. — About 8-9 min.

Remember to check out our Spring Okanogan County Heritage for additional information on Retta Scott and other women of the Okanogan, later this month. If you are interested in more information on Retta Scott and other women of the Okanogan, contact us for purchase of the Spring Heritage magazine or consider becoming a member to receive four magazines annually.

*The parentheses are mine—used to clarify a sentence or to correct a spelling in a quote.