Monday’s Art Notes

BY Molly Finnegan  March 29, 2010 at 11:43 AM EST

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Local rock band Kabul Dreams make a music video in Kabul, Afghanistan. Kabul Dreams is made up of singer/guitarist Sulieman Qardash, bass player Siddique Ahmad and drummer Mujtaba Habibi, and they claim to be the country’s first and only rock and roll group. During the years of Taliban, there was not a way for anyone to learn or even listen to the music. Photo by Majid Saeedi/ Getty Images

In January, Jeffrey Brown talked to Salman Ahmad, a rock star from Pakistan and the author of “Rock & Roll Jihad,” a memoir about his career and a treatise on the way encouraging young people to play music can help promote understanding.

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Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa have both won the Pritzker Prize, the highest award handed out in the field of architecture. The Japanese design team runs the Tokyo firm SANAA, and have designed Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio and the New Museum in New York. The Chicago Tribune has an interview with the prize winners.

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The Metropolitan Opera has received its biggest gift ever — $30 million dollars from philanthropist and Met executive board secretary Ann Ziff. Her donation comes at an important time, with the storied opera company facing a $4 million deficit this year.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported last week on bad times for opera companies around the globe.

The NewsHour addressed the challenges faced by the Met (including the challenge of attracting and building a new generation of opera-goers) in a segment last December.

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Speaking of hard times, ARTINFO has a round up of the arts funding crises in three cities across the nation — Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington.

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On Saturday, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington hosted the launch of a new online database that maps women’s poetry over the last millenium. The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project is expected to become the largest database devoted to documenting the lives and works of female poets.