About Spomen Dom
In 2014 and 2015, Improcon – Congress Of Free Improvised Music, Arts & Thoughts took place at Spomen Dom in Kumrovec, Croatia, every year on the second weekend of August. Since its opening in 1974, Spomen Dom has been one of the most significant business and catering facility for major political conferences and seminars in former Yugoslavia. Since its closing in 1991, there have been ideas and plans about the reconstruction of Spomen Dom – which comprises more than 90 000 square meters –, but until today despite of its vast historical and cultural background, it remains abandoned and mostly out of use.
In Kumrovec Improcon offered accomodation to all its participating artists at Spomen Dom and / or at Hostel Kumrovec and offered continental breakfast, lunch and dinner provided by Romani Kafenava, the first Gypsy restaurant in Europe, located in Maribor, Slovenia. Showering possibility is in Staro Selo Kumrovec and / or in Hostel Kumrovec.
The workshop festival participants were free to use the following premises of Spomen Dom:
· cinema hall of Congress Center
· main meeting room of Congress Center
· small meeting rooms of Congress Center
· main lobby of Hotel Kumrovec
· abandoned swimming pool of Hotel Kumrovec
· amphiteatre of Spomen Dom
· outdoor mini-swimming pool
· outdoor spaces in and around Spomen Dom
· mobile recording studios from 2017
About Staro Selo Kumrovec
Kumrovec’s claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of marshal Josip Broz Tito (1892–1980), the president of Yugoslavia. Museum Staro Selo Kumrovec, is a unique museum in the country that shows the authentic look of Zagorje villages, people’s way of life, as well as customs and crafts that were part of the everyday life of ordinary peasants from this region, at the beginning of the 20th century.
The idea to include measures of monument protection of the old core of the Kumrovec village, was present even in 1947, when Marijana Gusic ethnographically processed Croatian Zagorje and wrote a study on the village of Kumrovec, centered in the birthplace of Tito. Cultural-historical and art part of the museum exhibition was arranged in 1950 by the academic painter Edo Kovacevic and professor Zdenko Vojnovic, director of the Museum of Arts and Trades, while the home environment of the Broz family was arranged by professor Gusic.
The Memorial Museum of Marshal Tito, who worked at the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, was founded in 1953. The most extensive restoration and reconstruction works of Staro Selo, took place in the period from 1979 to 1985.
Today, ethno-village Kumrovec is the most traditional interior in Croatia, that depicts the authentic look of Zagorje village in the early 20th century to the visitors. With about 40 restored buildings of traditional architecture, you can see how the ancestors lived. Arranged sets tell about the cutoms and daily life of peasants and their families on one hand, and the various traditional crafts that secured the existence of the residents and their families in the village of Kumrovec, on the other. Here are, as well, traditional yards and gardens, barns and hampers – everything that made a rich mosaic of life in the countryside. The birthplace of Josip Broz Tito, restored in the center of the village, contains ethnographic and historical display. Within the old school is the reconstruction of the former classrooms and the teacher’s apartment.
In addition to the tour of permanent exhibition sets, that show the traditional way of life of the Croatian Zagorje region in the late 19th and early 20th century, the museum offers a number of other interactive features for visitors – events and workshops run by ethnologists experts in cooperation with the artisans of traditional crafts, tailored to the different ages.