For six years, Stephanie Leathers’s SITES project—known as Sunday SITES until it expanded into other days—has given Durham some of its most consistently compelling site-specific, improvisational, durational performance art in unusual public spaces.
The series’ first turning point came in 2016, when Leathers mounted a DIDA show in the empty shell of Fishmongers before it became Saint James Seafood, shifting SITES from something you’d stumble across or see on Instagram to a destination performance series and opening it to a greater variety of artists.
With a re-launch party at Accordion Club this Friday evening, SITES celebrates a second turning point. Its upcoming season finds Leathers bringing on new curators to expand the series into Chapel Hill and Raleigh, each of which provides its own unique urban issues and opportunities for performers to inhabit and explore.
The revamped SITES is timed with each city’s art walk: Raleigh’s on the first Friday of each month, Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s on the second, and Durham’s on the third (see the full schedule copied from the press release below). Leathers’s background in dance and photography has made them the foundation in Durham, but with different affinities, the new curators should open the series even wider. Raleigh facilitator Autumn Mist Belk is a dance artist with an interest in film, while Chapel Hill-Carrboro facilitators Killian Manning and Heather Tatreau bring visual-art-world connections.
Development was Leathers’s impetus to found SITES, and while its issues are acute in Durham, they certainly aren’t exclusive to it. “I’m from here, so moving back, it was this total blast of change I wanted to call attention to: gentrification, people being forced out of their neighborhoods,” she says. “I’ve not exhausted Durham, but it’s time for other cities to feel a connection to this project, because [these issues] don’t only exist here.”SITES 2018-19 Schedule SEPTEMBER 2018DURHAM ~ Friday, Sept. 21: SITES Re-Launch @The Accordion Club, 8-10pmDURHAM ~ Saturday, Sept. 22: Renay Aumiller, 539 Foster St., 7pmOCTOBER 2018RALEIGH ~ Friday, Oct. 5: Autumn Mist Belk, Filmmaker, Online PremiereCARRBORO ~ Saturday, Oct. 13: Laura Grant + Galen Treuer, Empty lot on NW corner of Greensboro St. and Weaver St., 6pmDURHAM ~ Friday, Oct 19: ShaLeigh Dance Works, Durham Skate Park, 6:30pm DURHAM ~ Saturday, Oct 20, 7pm Vanguard Party, Location TBD, 7pmNOVEMBER 2018RALEIGH ~ Friday, Nov. 2: Code f.a.d. Company in Moore Square, 6-8pmCH/CARRBORO ~ Friday, Nov. 9: Heather Tatreau, Location TBD, 6pmDURHAM ~ Friday, Nov. 16: Wutang McDougal, Downtown TBD, 7pmDURHAM ~ Sat. + Sun., Nov. 17 +18: Krista Anne Nordgren + Stephanie Leathers, Location TBD, Time 7-8pmDECEMBER 2018RALEIGH ~ Friday, Dec. 7: Location and Time TBDCH/CARRBORO ~ Friday, Dec. 14: Heather Tatreau, Location TBD, 6pmJANUARY 2019CHAPEL HILL ~ Friday, Jan 11: Heather Tatreau, The Ackland Museum. 6-9pmFEBRUARY 2019RALEIGH ~ Friday, Feb 1: Location and Time TBDDURHAM ~ Friday, Feb. 15: OM Grown Dancers, Location and Time TBDCHAPEL HILL ~ Sunday, Feb 17: Killian Manning, The Ackland Museum, 2-5pmMARCH 2019RALEIGH ~ Friday, Mar 1: Location and Time TBDCHAPEL HILL ~ Sunday, Mar. 24: Killian Manning, The Ackland Museum, 2-5pmAPRIL 2019RALEIGH ~ Fri, April 5: Location and Time TBDCHAPEL HILL ~ Fri, April 12: Killian Manning, Caffe Driade, 6-7pmDURHAM ~ Sunday April14: Jude Casseday + Jody Fabso Cassell, Geodesic Dome/Picnic Area across from Museum of Life and Science, 4pmMAY 2019DURHAM CULMINATING SITES EVENT ~ 23, 24, 25, Location and Time TBD