Singer, songwriter, and St. Charles resident Leslie Hunt is taking her decades-long love of music and opening Hunt House Creative Arts Center a few doors down from the historic Arcada Theatre on January 5, 2023.
In the heart of downtown St. Charles, Hunt has designed the music and art center to enrich the community with her passion for music and songwriting by creating a nurturing space centered around connection and creative expression.
“With a focus on personal expansion, peer support, and inclusivity, Hunt House Creative Arts Center aims for each student to feel seen and heard,” says Hunt. “I want to create a safe space for students of all ages, and especially, teenagers.”
Hunt has a soft spot for teens and shared the heartbreaking story of the death of her sister in 2008 from a drug overdose.
“When we were in high school, music played a powerful role in our lives and if we had a place like Hunt House to further develop our creativity and bolster our confidence, drugs might not have had the same appeal,” explained Hunt. “I want to provide a healthy outlet for the creative people in my community, regardless of age or natural ability.”
In addition to music lessons for piano, voice, and guitar, Hunt House has a movement room for students to gain confidence in singing and performing and private/group songwriting instruction.
“Songwriting encourages collaboration, self-expression, and peer support to turn ideas into fully formed songs,” said Hunt. “What sets Hunt House apart is our intimate performance space available for all students to get comfortable in the spotlight.”
Referring to the in-house stage, Hunt encourages all students to regularly share what they are working on as the stage is always available to them.
As the founder and creative director of Hunt House Creative Arts, Hunt has an impressive resume, ranging from a Sony Records development deal with Survivor’s Jim Peterik at the age of 19 and landing a spot in the Top Ten Female Finalists American Idol in 2007 to collaborating with legendary talents like drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, Sting) and bassist Vail Johnson (Stevie Nicks, Herbie Hancock) on Hunt’s album, “Your Hair is on Fire.”
Since 2008, Hunt has also been the frontwoman and co-composer for the progressive rock band District 97 which released their live album Screenplay in 2021 and is currently working on their fifth studio album.
Critics have even likened Hunt to solo artist Aimee Mann.
A grand opening and ribbon cutting for Hunt House Creative Arts Center are scheduled for Thursday, January 5 at 4:30 PM at 113 East Main Street in St. Charles. This is a free event and anyone in the community is welcome to attend.