The debate about American values will be the topic of a six-week seminar sponsored by Virginia-based Colonial Williamsburg Foundation at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, beginning Oct. 1. The “Idea of America” is a national pilot project in Maine, Florida, Texas and California, to engage citizens in what the curriculum calls “The Great Debate.”

“Americans agree on a common core of values and yet have always debated the direction those values should lead us,” said Duncan Newcomer, seminar facilitator.

“There is a little homework each week,” the Northport resident added, “but the payoff is a civil conversation about political and historical issues that can divide us. We can still call ourselves Americans.”

Immigration, education, and the economy are highlighted topics to be examined through the unique “Idea of America” perspective. The seminar will meet Thursday nights at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center from Oct. 1 through Nov. 7, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. There is a small fee for books and materials. Enrollment is limited to 25 participants.

To register, contact Newcomer at or 240-595-1717.