2022 Great American Think-Off Results

America’s Greatest Thinker: Blaine Rada Audience Votes: Social Responsibility is More Important than Personal Choice On Saturday, June 11, 2022, a majority of the audience of more than 200 voted to name Blaine Rada of Darien, IL America’s Greatest Thinker...

2022 Great American Think-Off Finalist Essays

29th Great American Think-Off Congratulations to all 4 finalists! Read the winning essays below The four finalists for the 2022 Great American Think-Off are (in alphabetical order): Matthew Anderson of Sunnyvale, CA; Dennis Nau of Fergus Falls, MN; Blaine Rada of...

2022 Great American Think-Off Debate June 11 & Kick-Off June 10

29th Annual Think-Off Saturday, June 11, 2022 @ 7pm Held @ NYM School Auditorium Reception to follow @ Cultural Center The 2022 Think-Off debate will be held at the New York Mills School Auditorium on Saturday, June 11th, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. Doors open to the public at...

2022 Great American Think-Off Finalists Announced

29th Annual Great American Think-Off Philosophy Essay/Debate Contest Live Debate June 11, 2022 New York Mills, MN—May 1, 2022—The New York Mills Regional Cultural Center is pleased to announce the four finalists for the 2022 Great American Think-Off debate, which will...

Think-Off Essays Due April 1

29th Annual Great American Think-Off Philosophy essay & debate competition Essays due April 1st The Great American Think-Off, now in its 29th year, is an annual philosophy contest held in New York Mills, MN (population 1,224), and hosted by the New York Mills...

2022 Great American Think-Off Question

Question Announced January 1 Essays Due April 1 Finalists Announced May 1 Great Debate June 11, 2022 When you make an important decision, what do you consider in your assessment of pros and cons?  Certainly you think about how that choice will affect you...

Help us pick the 2022 Think-Off Question!

Let your voice be heard! Vote by December 27, 2021 The question with the most votes WINS! The Great American Think-Off committee has met and selected three choices as possibilities for the 29th annual Great American Think-Off question.  Just to shake things up a bit...

2021 Think-Off Finalist Essays

28th Great American Think-Off Congratulations to all 4 finalists! Read the winning essays below The four finalists for the 2021 Great American Think-Off are (in alphabetical order): AJ Gil of Atlanta, GA; Angela Stehr of St. Paul, MN; Bill Sutherland of Eden Prairie,...

2021 Think-Off Honorable Mentions Essays

28th Great American Think-Off Announcing Honorable Mentions Read Essays Below In 2021 the Think-Off Committee selected four honorable mentions, two on each side of the question: Which is more important: to win or to play by the rules? The 2021 Honorable Mention...

America’s Greatest Thinker for 2021

Playing by the Rules WINS! Dan Tschida of Minneapolis, MN wins 28th Annual Great American Think-Off philosophical debate in New York Mills, MN Tschida defeated AJ Gil of Atlanta, GA in the final round of debate on Saturday, June 12, 2021, successfully arguing his...

Great American Think-Off Debate June 12, 2021

28th Annual Think-Off Saturday, June 12, 2021 @ 7pm Held @ NYM School Auditorium Reception to follow @ Cultural Center The 2021Think-Off debate will be held at the New York Mills School Auditorium on Saturday, June 12th, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.  Doors open to the public at...

2021 Think-Off Finalists Announced

28th Great American Think-Off Philosophy Essay Contest Live Debate June 12, 2021 These four writers were selected as the top essayists answering the 28th annual Think-Off question, “Which is more important: to win or to play by the rules?” These four...

Think-Off Essays Due April 1

2021 Great American Think-Off Essays due April 1st The Great American Think-Off, now in its 28th year, is an annual philosophy contest held in New York Mills, MN (population 1,224), and hosted by the Cultural Center in New York Mills. This year’s question once again...

2021 Great American Think-Off Question

28th Annual Think-Off Question Announced January 1, 2021 The Great American Think-Off, now in its 28th year, is an annual philosophy contest held in New York Mills, MN (population 1,224), and hosted by the Cultural Center in New York Mills. This year’s question once...

Think-Off Documentary Virtual Watch Party June 11, 2020

Great American Think-Off Virtual Documentary Film Watch Party Thursday, June 11, 2020 Begins at 7:00 p.m. In honor of the 2020 Great American Think-Off, which was postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19, we are hosting a virtual watch party on Facebook to view the Think-Off...

2020 Great American Think-Off Postponed to 2021

2020 Think-Off Debate Cancelled Submitted Essays Valid for 2021 Essays Accepted Until 4/1/21 2021 Think-Off Debate June 12, 2021 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Great American Think-Off debate has been cancelled. This year’s question, “Which is more...

2020 Great American Think-Off Essay Deadline Extended

28th Annual Great American Think-Off Essay Deadline EXTENDED to April 15, 2020 As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect daily lives, the Think-Off Committee announces the extension of this year’s essay deadline to April 15, 2020. It is our hope that while...

2020 Great American Think-Off Question

28th Annual Think-Off Question Announced January 1, 2020 The Great American Think-Off, now in its 28th year, is an annual philosophy contest held in New York Mills, MN (population 1,224), and hosted by the Cultural Center in New York Mills. This year’s question once...

2019 America’s Greatest Thinker Goes to…

Jennifer Nelson is the 2019 America’s Greatest Thinker! 27th Great American Think-Off Held June 8, 2019 Debate Details Follow Jennifer is a native of Morris, MN who currently lives in the Twin Cities where she works as a research consultant for the DFL Caucus at...

2019 Think-Off Finalist Essays

27th Great American Think-Off Congratulations to all 4 finalists! Read the winning essays below The four finalists for the 2019 Great American Think-Off are (in alphabetical order): Rick Brundage of St. Paul, MN; David Lapakko of Richfield, MN; Louise Mengelkoch of...

2019 Think-Off Honorable Mentions Essays

27th Great American Think-Off Announcing Honorable Mentions Read Essays Below Read the 2019 Honorable Mention Essays Below, OR you can: 2019 Think-Off Results 2019 Think-Off Finalist Essays Michael Denny, Journalist from Staples, MN No Voting does not matter. It...

Philosophers and Artist Reception

Celebrating Philosophers & Artists We are making yet another connection by hosting both the Great American Think-Off Reception and the Distinctly Minnesota Artist Reception as one big party! Help us Kick-Off the Think-Off in style! Join us June 7th at 6:30-8:30pm...

Think-Off Debate June 8, 2019

27th Great American Think-Off Saturday, June 8, 2019 @ 7pm Held @ NYM School Auditorium Reception to follow @ Cultural Center The 2019 Think-Off debate will be held at the James Mann Center for the Performing Arts (Auditorium) at the New York Mills School on Saturday,...

2019 Great American Think-Off Finalists

Final Four Announced “To Vote or Not to Vote: Does it Matter?” Essay Finalists to Debate Topic June 8, 2019 @ 7pm The Cultural Center in New York Mills announces four finalists from the essay contest portion of the 27th Annual Great American Think-Off....

2019 Great American Think-Off Question

UPDATE! Essays are now due April 15th, 2019! The Great American Think-Off, now in its 27th year, is an annual philosophy contest held in New York Mills, MN (population 1,224), and hosted by the Cultural Center in New York Mills. This year’s question once again...

America’s Greatest Thinker for 2018 is…

Anthony Berryhill of Austin, TX! Runner-up Armchair Philosopher, Mark Bland of Virginia Beach, VA, out-argued Rudy San Miguel of New Orleans, LA to advance to the final round of debate, wherein Anthony Berryhill took the prize! Before debating Bland, Berryhill first...

2018 Think-Off Finalist Essays

The four finalists for the 2018 Great American Think-Off are (in alphabetical order): Tonya Abari of Nashville, TN; Anthony Berryhill of Austin, TX; Mark Bland of Virginia Beach, VA; and Rudy San Miguel of New Orleans, LA. Berryhill won the debate on June 9, while...

2018 Honorable Mentions Essays

From the Great American Think-Off! Read All 10 Honorable Mention Essays Below, OR you can: Read About the Debate Here Read the 4 Finalists’ Essays Here The 5 Honorable Mentions who Said FAILURE Plays a Larger Role in One’s Life Are: Abdinasir Nourkadi,...

2018 Great American Think-Off Weekend

The Center Announces the Think-Off Debate Moderator: The Cultural Center in New York Mills announces Ashley Hanson as the moderator of debate among armchair philosophers for the 26th Annual Great American Think-Off this June.   As a social practice theater artist,...

2018 Think-Off Finalists

Success or Failure: Essay Finalists to Debate Topic Cultural Center Announces Great American Think-Off Debate Finalists The Cultural Center in New York Mills announces four finalists from the essay contest portion of the Great American Think-Off. These four win $500...

Deadlines Approaching!

April 1 @ Midnight  The deadline for applications to the Arts Retreat Program at the Cultural Center is midnight on Easter, Sunday! Learn more about the retreat here: Arts Retreat And Submit your application here: Submittable April 2 Because April 1 is a holiday...

2018 Great American Think-Off Question

An entrepreneur’s new business fails.  A 7th grader receives the “most valuable player” award for basketball.  A recovering addict fails to abstain.  A singer auditions for and wins a role on Broadway.  Everyone experiences some successes and failures in life, but...

2017 Think-Off Honorable Mentions Essays

Beginning in 2016, the Think-Off Committee established the new category of Honorable Mention essays to provide a way to showcase additional excellent essays beyond the top four finalists. Five Honorable Mention essays have been selected from each side and printed...

2017 Think-Off Winning Essays!

Pamela Lewis – 2017’s Greatest American Thinker! Had he lived during the 2016 presidential election, Pontius Pilate might have asked his famous and mocking question, “What is truth?” For me, as well as for many of my fellow Americans, the...

Pamela Lewis is 2017 Greatest American Thinker!

2017 Think-Off Question Answered: 2016 Election DID Change Our Perception of Truth New Yorker Named Greatest American Thinker in New York Mills Saturday, four armchair philosophers faced off in the Great Debate portion of the Great American Think-Off philosophy...

Great American Think-Off 25th Anniversary Celebration Weekend

2017 is a special year for the Great American Think-Off, as it marks the 25th annual philosophical debate. Because of this milestone, the Cultural Center is hosting several weekend events; see the schedule below. Friday, June 9 6-9pm Think-Off Kick-Off at the NYM...

Think-Off Finalists Announced

The Great American Think-Off essay contest finalists will come to New York Mills to debate each other before a live audience on Saturday June 10, 2017. These four deftly and expertly, from their computer desks or chaise lounges, answered the 25th annual...

2017 Think-Off Question Announced

“Has the 2016 election changed our perception of truth?”           The 25th annual Great American Think-Off question is a heavy-hitter in that it not only addresses the 2016 election for timely relevance, but also tackles the...