Honorable Mentions’ Essays Announced

Ten essayists were recognized as Honorable Mentions for the quality of their essays for this year’s Great American Think-Off, in addition to the four finalists who debated in New York Mills on June 11th, 2016. The 2016 Think-Off topic was “Income Inequality...

Buy Tickets to the Great Debate!

The 2016 Great American Think-Off live debate is this Saturday, June 11th at 7pm! CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS NOW! Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. (No discounts apply.) Attend the live debate and cast your vote to help select America’s Greatest...

2016 Honorable Mentions Announced

  The Cultural Center would like to congratulate the 2016 Great American Think-Off Honorable Mentions. The Committee chose 10 outstanding essays to acknowledge–five arguments for and five arguments against–the proposition: Income Inequality Threatens...

2016 Think-Off Finalists Announced

The Cultural Center in New York Mills proudly announces the four finalists for the 2016 Great American Think-Off! These four individuals will travel to New York Mills this June to go head-to-head in three rounds of debate to settle this year’s topic: Income...

2016 Think-Off Poster

Calling all Americans to participate in this annual civil disagreement of powerful ideas. This year’s topic is especially relevant in our current political climate as we approach the presidential election. Click here to submit your essay today! Deadline is April...

Think-Off ‘Honorable Mentions’ Opportunity Announced

More Ways to Win in 2016 Great American Think-Off America’s everyday philosophers have a new incentive to share their thoughts with the nation this year. The Great American Think-Off, a philosophy contest held annually in the small rural town of New York Mills,...

2016 Think-Off Topic Announced

Topic for the 2016 Great American Think-Off: “Income Inequality Threatens Democracy” After much discussion, and appropriately, some healthy debate, the Great American Think-Off committee has decided on this year’s topic for the annual debate:...

Think-Off Finalist on A Prairie Home Companion

Think-Off Finalist Marsh Muirhead interviewed by Garrison Keillor on A Prairie Home Companion live from Bemidji, November 2015 Click the link below to see Marsh Muirhead talk with Garrison Keillor about his past experiences with the Great American Think-Off,...

2015 Great American Think-Off Winning Essays

The 23rd Annual Great American Think-Off was held on Saturday, June 13th, 2015 at the James Mann Center for the Performing Arts in New York Mills.  The first round featured David Lapakko and David Eckel both arguing for the side of “Technology Frees Us”....

2015 Think-Off Question Answered: Technology Frees Us

America’s Greatest Thinker named for 2015 The Cultural Center in New York Mills is pleased to announce that David Lapakko of Richfield, MN, asserting that Technology Frees Us, was voted America’s Greatest Thinker on Saturday, June 13th by a crowd of 300 at the New...

2015 Think-Off Finalists Announced

The Cultural Center’s Great American Think-Off committee is pleased to announce that the four finalists for the 23rd annual debate have been selected to answer this year’s question, “Does Technology Free Us or Trap Us?”.  Arguing that...

Tickets for the Great Debate

Tickets available now Buy your tickets now to get seats at this year’s debate slated to begin at 7:00 pm on Saturday, June 13, 2015.  The event will be held at the James Mann Center for the Performing Arts at the New York Mills Schools.  Cost for advance tickets...

Minnesota Public Radio features Think-Off

MPR features Evan Johnson’s documentary about the Think-Off A documentary about the lost art of civil debate. Hundreds of participants from around the country submit essays answering a big philosophical question, and the finalists appear in the “Great...

2015 Great American Think-Off poster

Click on the poster image to print out a 8.5 x 11 poster of the 2015 Think-Off.  Or send a link to your friends via email or on your Facebook page. Share the poster with your philosopher friends and neighbors.

Great American Think-Off since 1993

Wondering about what the Think-Off is? The Great American Think-Off is an exhibition of civil disagreement between powerful ideas that connect to your life at the gut level. The Cultural Center, located in the rural farm and manufacturing town of New York Mills,...

2015 Great American Think-Off question is here

Does Technology Free Us or Trap Us? Submit your 2015 essay no later than April 1, 2015 Winners will be notified no later than May 1, 2015 The 2015 debate will be held in New York Mills on Saturday, June 13 NEW YORK MILLS, Minn. – The 2015 Great American Think-Off has...

Texts of the final four essays from the 2014 Think-Off

Love motivates us more by Jennifer Nelson I couldn’t believe. I didn’t even realize I was bleeding. Adrenaline is a surprisingly strong force. As I shakily stumbled away from my demolished vehicle, I had no idea I was even injured, let alone that my injuries would be...

Jennifer Nelson wins 2014 Great American Think-Off

Enthusiastic audience chooses “America’s Greatest Thinker” Jennifer Nelson of Morris, Minnesota won the annual Great American Think-Off philosophy contest on Saturday, June 14 before an enthusiastic crowd of 375 persons in New York Mills, Minnesota....

Final four for 2014 debate hail from Minnesota

Final four debaters for 2014 Great American Think-Off will debate on June 14th Tickets on sale at the Center (call 218-385-3339)  or online at Brown Paper Tickets (click here)   “Love or fear: which motivates us more?” will be debated at the 22nd annual Great American...

2014 essay deadline extended to April 15

There is still time to submit your essay and participate “Love or fear:  which motivates us more?” is the 2014 question posed by the Great American Think-Off and everyone still has time to submit her or his essay (no more than 750 words) until April 15. This annual...

2014 Think-Off question released

Love or fear:  which motivates us more? The 2014 Great American Think-OffTM releases its 22nd annual philosophy question:  “love or fear: which motivates us more?”  Submit a short essay making your best argument about this question and participate in this annual...

Compromise wins the argument at the 21st annual Think-Off

Choose the link to each finalist to open a copy of her or his essay. The 2013 Think-Off question has been resolved. Paul Terry, the CEO of StayWell Health Management, a national wellness company based in Eagan, Minnesota, won the debate and a gold medal with his...

Can’t come to the Think-Off? You can listen on KBRF

If you can’t make it to New York Mills to hear this year’s Think-Off, you can still listen on Lakes Radio.  Tune to KBRF 1250AM to hear the entire debate, or, you can listen via live streaming at http://www.lakesradio.net/KBRF-AM-1250/10244692 .

On-line ticket sales for the Think-Off

You may purchase tickets to the 2013 Great American Think-Off by clicking on the Brown Paper Ticket widget below.  You will be connected to the Brown Paper Ticket website for secure online ticket purchase.  There is an option to purchase tickets at the advance ticket...

John Forde will moderate the 2013 Think-Off

The 2013 Great American Think Off will be moderated by public television host, John Forde. John is the creator of ‘Mental Engineering’ a weekly program featuring professors and comedians deconstructing television commercials. Regular panelists included the...

The finalists for the 2013 Think-Off

Think-Off Finalists hail from the South and from Minnesota The four finalists for the 2013 Great American Think-Off have been selected and have agreed to come to New York Mills to participate in the 21st annual debate on June 8th at 7 pm.  This year’s question is...

Think-Off Debate June 8th, 2013 at 7pm

The debate is held at the James Mann Center for the Performing Arts at the New York Mills School.  It will be held on Saturday, June 8th at 7pm.   Tickets will go on sale on February 1st, 2013, and may be reserved now by email to info@kulcher.org.  Or, just give us a...

2013 Think-Off question published

The 2013 Great American Think-Off question: “Which is more ethical: sticking to your principles or being willing to compromise?” The 21st annual Great American Think-Off announces its question for 2013: “Which is more ethical: sticking to your principles or being...

2012 Think-Off Contestants

“The Nature of Humankind: Inherently Good or Inherently Evil?” is this year’s Great American Think-Off question, reprising the first annual Think-Off when the same question was asked and, for the only time in Think-Off history, resulted in a draw. Think-Off...

20th Annual Great American Think-Off Question

Press Release New York Mills Regional Cultural Center P.O. Box 246 24 North Main Avenue New York Mills, MN 56567 (218) 385-3339 nymills@kulcher.org Contact: Jamie Robertson For Release January 1, 2012 20th Annual Great American Think-Off Question: “The Nature of...