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New Yorker named 'America's Greatest Thinker' in New York Mills: Pamela Lewis Wins 25th annual Great American Think-Off June 10

Pamela Lewis of Elmhurst, Queens, N.Y., successfully argued her position that the 2016 election has changed our perception of truth during the 25th annual philosophy debate The Great American Think-Off on Saturday, June 10, claiming the title of "America's Greatest Thinker" for 2017. (Submitted photo)1 / 2
Pamela Lewis of Elmhurst, Queens, N.Y. (third from left) was crowned "America’s Greatest Thinker" for 2017, beating out her three fellow Great American Think-Off finalists, Nancy Krier (2nd place) of Olympia, Wash.,, Kris Pauna of Prior Lake, Minn., and David Shapiro of Seattle, Wash., at the June 10 debate competition. (Submitted photo) 2 / 2

This past Saturday in New York Mills, MN, four armchair philosophers faced off in the Great Debate portion of the Great American Think-Off philosophy competition held by the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center.

Over 250 attendees voted in three elimination rounds to choose Pamela Lewis of Elmhurst, Queens, N.Y., America's Greatest Thinker for 2017. Lewis successfully argued her position that the 2016 election has changed our perception of truth.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the competition, making Lewis, along with Nancy Krier (2nd place) of Olympia, Wash.,, Kris Pauna of Prior Lake, Minn., and David Shapiro of Seattle, Wash., four of a total of just eighty-eight individuals to have been selected to participate in the Great Debate over the twenty-five year history of the event (ten individuals have returned as repeat finalists, two of whom have been back three times). This year, the four finalists were selected based on essays they wrote answering the question, "Has the 2016 election changed our perception of truth?" The debate expounded on this question with more pointed questions for the debaters.

Think-Off winner Pamela Lewis is the only child of British-Guyanese immigrants who instilled and encouraged her love of art, music, books, and flowers. She is a graduate of New York University, where she earned a Master of Arts degree in French Literature.

Coming up at the Cultural Center

June Artist in Residence, William Berger, Creative Content Producer for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, offers a writing workshop at the Cultural Center. Using performance as a springboard and catalyst for wordplay and text construction, this Thursday, June 15 workshop will focus on point-of-view. The 6 p.m. workshop is open to all and free to attend.

The Little Big Year, a project of the Cultural Center, welcomes Angie Morales, the raptor expert from the Headwaters Science Center in Bemidji, to the Cultural Center on Friday, June 16 at 7 p.m. Ms. Morales will be presenting "Raptors Rule," an informative and entertaining program which centers on several live predatory birds. Come get your questions about hawks, eagles and owls answered and have a firsthand experience with live birds of prey. All are welcome and admission is free. Refreshments will be served.

Fresh off a performance at Detroit Lakes' Historic Holmes Theatre, New York Mills-based singer-songwriter Elisa Korenne will perform her latest story-concert, "Crazy About You," on Saturday, June 17 at 7 p.m. The evening concert will be preceded by a "Crazy About Writing" Workshop at 4 p.m. in the Cultural Center; and a Children's Mini-Concert at 6:30 p.m. in the NYM Library (next door to the Cultural Center). Following the mini-concert, children can stay and play at the library with a licensed preschool teacher while adults attend the 7pm concert at the Center! Please call to pre-register for the writing workshop and childcare at 218-385-3339; please bring your children to the NYM Library front door by 6:15 p.m. All of these events are free and open to the public.

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