Dakota Memorial School (DMS)—the on-campus school of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch—was awarded a $2,500 Artist in Residence grant by the North Dakota Council on the Arts (NDCA). This grant program is designed to give students and teachers and an understanding of quality art and an appreciation for cultural tradition through hands-on workshops and experiences.
Through the awarded grant dollars, DMS was able to bring Dr. Monte Selby to its Fargo campus for a week-long residency. Selby, a Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and educator, connects with students on a personal level, engages them in authentic musical experiences, and inspires them to pursue their own artistic expression.
With the theme "Future You," students used songwriting to paint a picture of a brighter future. DMS recognizes the importance of arts education as it is an integral aspect for each child in residential care to be creative and expressive with their voice in their world. Music provides that bridge for many of our children. Selby is a one-of-a-kind artist with a unique approach to engaging students in a way that combines art and academics in a therapeutic manner.
Our students say it best:
"I wrote a song for the first time. I never thought I could do that...I'm only fourteen. Just think what I'll do next!" -H
"Monte helped me realize I'm not weird. What I'm feeling is normal. Writing it down helped me make sense of things." -C
"This was the best day of my life. My mom listened to my song on YouTube and she loved it! She said it was the best present I've ever given her." -K
Selby recorded the student's songs and, with the permission of the student and their guardian, posted them on YouTube. To hear their songs, click on the following links:
YOUNG GIRL: https://youtu.be/cJFDWQ7zGAk
HEARTS TOO HEAVY (student sings): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjkmV6HYLOA
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh8rQ7Jzpp8
NOT ALONE (student sings): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvUWKio5_wQ
IS THIS NORMAL? (student plays electric guitar and created the melody for song): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FNxm3ODFI8
CURSE: Procrastination (student plays bass and drums): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9N5fNYLYDc
IN A NUTSHELL (student plays drums): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZfOMLDBB84
MY PARENT'S DIVORCE (student plays electric guitar): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIpE8GJmE-Y
I'M DONE!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsutZZDUWmY
I'M ME, I'LL NEVER CHANGE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz5qZiGMW2M
This project was supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which received funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The North Dakota Council on the Arts is the state agency responsible for the support and development of the arts throughout North Dakota. For more information, contact the Council on the Arts at 701-328-7593 or visit www.nd.gov/arts.
For more information about Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, visit our website at www.dakotaranch.org.