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 Sculpture Park / The Barn. Join us for an evening of live music with Kimmel & Longtine, food, drink, merriment, authentic Finnish Sauna, and opportunity to meet the finalists! Free to attend. Food by Backwoods BBQ will be available for purchase. Cash bar will also be available. Thanks to CANVASWORK, INC. of New York Mills for sponsoring these kick-off activities!

Musicians Dick Kimmel & Pamela Longtine began performing together in 2014 in Minnesota stringbands and as a duo a year later. Their music is a diverse collection drawn from the old-time stringband music tradition with doses of folk and early bluegrass songs. Pamela plays traditional music inspired by the fiddlers who carried dance tunes, such as schottisches, jigs, and polkas from Northern Europe to America. She specializes in rural American hoedowns and waltzes as well as French-Canadian jigs and reels. Dick Kimmel is a traditional musician, who has performed old-time and other traditional music styles internationally for more than 50 years. He sings historical songs from the old-time, bluegrass, and folk music traditions, as well as performing original songs and instrumentals. Dick plays mandolin, clawhammer banjo, and guitar. He has been inducted into 3 music halls of fame: America’s Old-Time Country and Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame in 2008, the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

“Sisu” Finnish Sauna Information: Reservations are required: click here to reserve online now! The sauna will fit up to 6 people at a time. Price is $30 for 45 minutes for a group of up to six, paid upon arrival. Only four time slots between 6-9pm are available; each for a group of up to 6 people. The price is $30 for a 45 minute time slot regardless of the number of people in the group. Just one reservation per time slot is allowed, so one person per group should make the reservation.

Saturday, June 10

10am-Noon Bagels & Book Launch at the Cultural Center. Elisa Korenne’s Hundred Miles to Nowhere book launch celebration, sponsored by the NYM Public Library and Viking Library System. Program 10:30-11:30 will include a reading by Elisa, a presentation on publishing, and time for author Q&A. Open House NYC-themed refreshments provided by Friends of the NYM Library. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. Learn more at Elisa’s webpage: www.elisakorenne.com  This event is free to attend.

6:00pm Doors open at the James W. Mann Center for Performing Arts at the NYM School.  Auditorium seating is first come, first served, with the exception of limited front row “Philosopher Seats” which can be purchased for $50 each by calling the Center at 218-385-3339. Address of the NYM School is 209 Hayes Avenue | New York Mills, MN 56567.

7:00pm The Great Debate begins! The 25th annual Great American Think-Off live debate begins at 7pm on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at the NYM school auditorium, James W. Mann Center for Performing Arts (209 Hayes Ave, New York Mills). Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, $5 for students; purchase online through Brown Paper Tickets by clicking this link: http://thinkoff2017.brownpapertickets.com/

Immediately following the Debate (9:30ish) Reception at Cultural Center. At the conclusion of the debate, head over to the Cultural Center for a chance to continue the discussion, meet the finalists, and enjoy food, drinks & fun! Complimentary hors d’oeuvres provided by the Think-Off Committee and Cultural Center Board. Cash bar available. Free to attend.

Get tickets now for the great debate! CLICK HERE TO BUY ONLINE

The Great American Think-Off, a program of the Cultural Center in New York Mills, is proudly supported by Mid-State Auto Auction in New York Mills.