The 27th annual Great American Think-Off is looking for your essay submission for its annual philosophy debate. This year’s controversial question reads: “To vote or not to vote: does it matter?” Essays are due April 1, 2019 — just days away!
Express your opinion via 750 word (or less) essay, and your voice could win you 1 of 4 $500
cash prizes, PLUS an all-expense-paid stay in New-York-Mills, MN for the live debate on June
8, 2019! Enjoy a blissful weekend in MN Lakes Country while engaging in community
connections and cultural conversation with us in New York Mills.
The live debate event is held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the NYM School
Auditorium. Four finalists (selected by a volunteer committee who read the essays with all
personal information redacted) will participate in three rounds of debate, defending their
essay and beliefs as to why it matters to vote, or not to vote. The individual who makes the
best argument will be selected by audience vote as “America’s Greatest Thinker” for 2019.
“The Think-Off was a very unique opportunity — there are few if any opportunities for adults
to debate and discuss relevant and controversial topics outside of “gotcha” politics and sound
bites being put out of context on Twitter. Instead, the Think-Off is a place where one can fully
express one’s ideas, have them considered carefully, and engage in civil discourse.” – Anthony
Berryhill, 2018 Think-Off Winner
People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to submit an essay. There is no fee to
enter. Submit your essay in one of three simple ways: online at www.think-off.org (preferred),
via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail responses to Think-Off, c/o Cultural Center, P.O. Box
246, New York Mills, MN 56567. Essays must be submitted/sent/postmarked by April 1, 2019.
All are welcome to attend the great debate on Saturday, June 8, 2019, to cast your vote to
help determine the answer this year’s question and name America’s Greatest Thinker for
For tickets and/or more information, visit www.think-off.org, or call the Cultural Center at
About the Great American Think-Off:
Now in its 27th year, The Great American Think-Off is an exhibition of civil disagreement
between powerful ideas being explored by everyday people. Designed to bring philosophy
down from the ivory towers of academia and accessible for all, the contest has received
national acclaim including coverage by C-SPAN, the New York Times, and The Today Show.
The Cultural Center, located in the rural farm and manufacturing town of New York Mills,
Minnesota, sponsors this annual philosophy contest and encourages people of all ages and
backgrounds to participate. The Cultural Center is a rural hub for creativity, community
vitality, and lifelong learning in the arts. Since our incorporation in 1990, we have been
passionate about connecting people to artists and rich cultural experiences in rural
Minnesota, celebrating the local and being a window to the world.
To get a better sense of the Think-Off, find details, historical information, and a list of the
past 26 years of questions and winners on the event website: www.think-off.org.
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