The Art center project started as an initiative of Association ONEJ to establish an innovative space of exchange of ideas in the field of culture, art and development – as a space for creativity, generating developmental projects.
From activities to idea
ONEJ – Association of Prekmurje Initiative, main establisher of Art center, had been organizing all sorts of youth, artistic and cultural projects in Murska Sobota and wider area of Prekmurje: established youth club, art school and summer colonies for children, organization of concerts, art projects and exhibitions, published fairytales book and music cd of Prekmurje poetry, projects of cultural heritage etc.
Art center was born out of a need for a permanent and residential art space in the rural area of Prekmurje.
In the search for a suitable site, association ONEJ turned to different municipalities, where abandoned buildings where situated. And so abandoned and ruined border guardhouse in the municipality of Moravske Toplice was found. Mayor offered the ruins to the association with following words: be resourceful! And so it all began.
In the beginning
The project of Art center started in 1999 when Association ONEJ gained financial support of EU Programme Phare-CREDO for cross-border co-operation. ONEJ – Association of Prekmurje Initiative conceived the project, gained financial support of European Comission and executed building of the Art center: renovation and transformation of ex-Yugoslavian border guardhouse into first slovenian residential artistic center.
Art center as an institution was established in 2000 after ONEJ succesfully concluded the EU project and in 2001 received an award for the best regional project.
Through the years the members of Association ONEJ built, equipped and developed Art center with countless hours of voluntary work without payment, invested their personal money and gained financing from open project calls.
Our journey gets complicated right at the beginning and if you want to get a complete picture of how and why, we invite you to read our full story here.