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The Vanishing Point: A Journey into Blindness and Perception

Featuring Christopher Bailey

Monday, October 3, 2022, 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

George Washington University, Milken Institute School of Public Health, 950 New Hampshire Ave, NW, Auditorium, Washington, D.C.


Masks are optional and encouraged.

The Vanishing Point tells the story of Christopher Bailey's journey into blindness, and what he learned about perception, empathy, and the healing power of the arts. It is both a personal story and a journey across the history of humanity’s quest for sense-making, from our hunter gatherer days, through modern times, and to the recent discoveries in neurology which are beginning to shed light on the science behind deep aesthetic experiences and their healing power. At times harrowing, fascinating, funny, and moving, this event may well change the way you see the world. Introduced by Sunil Iyengar of the National Endowment for the Arts, the performance will be followed by a discussion with the audience. 

About Christopher Bailey

Christopher Bailey is the Arts and Health Lead at the World Health Organization (WHO). He co-founded the Healing Arts Initiative which looks at the evidence base for the health benefits of the arts by building a global network of research centers to look at effective practice as well as the science behind why the arts may benefit physical, mental, and social wellbeing. The Healing Arts Initiative emphasizes supporting underserved communities around the world. The program also engages with global media to promote pro health messaging and build solidarity on health issues through all media. 

Educated at Columbia and Oxford Universities as well as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, after a career as a professional actor and playwright, Bailey joined the Rockefeller Foundation as their Research Manager, and from there was recruited to WHO where he lead the Health Informatics work and later their online communications team before starting the Arts and Health program. As an ambassador for the field, Bailey has also performed original pieces such as Stage 4: Global Stories on Empathy and Health, and The Vanishing Point: A journey into Blindness and Perception, in venues around the world from the Hamwe Festival in Rwanda, to the Wellcome Collection in London, to the World Bank in Washington, DC, as well as at Lincoln Center in New York City, the LA Opera, LACMA, and Warner Brothers Studios in LA, and the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco among many others. His goal is to amplify the WHO definition of health which states that health is not merely the absence of disease and infirmity, but the attainment of the highest level of physical, mental and social wellbeing.  


From Foggy Bottom Metro Station: Walk towards Washington Circle, then turn left to New Hampshire Avenue. The School of Public Health will be directly in front of you. The walk is about 3 minutes.

COVID-19 Requirements

Masks are optional but remain strongly recommended in all George Washington University-owned or -operated facilities.


Presented in conjunction with the Kennedy Center, the Rodham Institute at George Washington University, the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization as part of Healing Arts ongoing series of global activations. This program is organized in conjunction with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Sound Health: Renew/Remix, a two-day convening designed to illustrate the power of music in helping us navigate the “new normal.”

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