The Great American Think-Off is seeking essay submissions for its 27th annual philosophy competition.

It is free to submit your essay of 750 words or less, answering the question "To vote or not to vote: does it matter?" Your insight, values and beliefs could win you $500 cash and an all-expense-paid-weekend in New York Mills. Essays are due by April 1.

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Four finalists will be announced May 1 to participate in the live debate on June 8 to ultimately answer the question and crown "America's Greatest Thinker," as determined by audience vote. People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to submit an essay.

Submit your essay in one of three simple ways: Online at (preferred), email or mail responses to Think-Off, c/o Cultural Center, P.O. Box 246, New York Mills, MN 56567.

All are welcome to attend the great debate on Saturday, June 8 and cast your vote to help determine the answer this year's question and name "America's Greatest Thinker" for 2019. For ticket information, please visit, call the Cultural Center at 218-385-3339 or visit our website at

The Great American Think-Off: A brief history

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, 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 its incorporation in 1990, the center's staff and volunteers 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: