Questions we’ve asked

In 2019 we asked “How should life be?”

2019’s Big Question jump-started our year of inquiry, curiosity, and engagement with Maine’s bicentennial.

  • Virginie Akimana, Instructor, Portland Adult Education and Community Interpreter, Catholic Charities Maine
  • Libby Bischof, Professor of History and Executive Director of Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine
  • Maurice Habimfura, founder of the Imihamirizo Project and representative of Ikirenga cy’Intore
  • Michael Kebede, Policy Counsel, ACLU of Maine
  • Lisa Margonelli, Author of Underbug: An Obsessive Tale of Termites and Technology
  • Darren Ranco, Professor of Anthropology and Coordinator of Native American Research, University of Maine

In 2018 we asked “Who is we?”

The question “Who is we?” is urgent and political: we the people … we hold these truths to be self evident … now who is we?

But it is also timeless, and both smaller and larger than politics: we friends … we family … we who have suffered … we who breathe the air, bask in the sunshine, swim in the sea … every time we can stop and pay attention. We can say, wait, Who is we?

  • Mindy Crandall, Assistant Professor of Forest Landscape Management, University of Maine
  • Ewan Douglas, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Aeronautics & Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute for Technology
  • Jim Hanna, Executive Director, Cumberland County Food Security Council
  • Vaishali Mamgain, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Compassion, University of Southern Maine
  • Lisa Pixley, Artist Printmaker, PrintCraft

In 2017 we explored the question “How can we know?”

Expert guides shared how they seek answers:
How can we know what our prognosis is when we’re ill?
what a cookbook can tell us about a place? how to
transmit emotions through dance? what’s making
spots on this blueberry leaf? how to talk about it all?

  • Paul Han, MD, MA, MPH, Director, Center for Outcomes Research & Evaluation, Maine Medical Center
  • Jonathan R. Cohen, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, University of Maine at Farmington
  • Don Lindgren, Owner, Rabelais Fine Books on Food & Drink
  • Lindsey Bourassa, Founding Director, Bourassa Contemporary Flamenco Dance Studio
  • Seanna Annis, PhD, Associate Professor of Mycology (that’s the study of fungi—we had to ask too!), University of Maine School of Biology & Ecology