Please enjoy this assortment of questions and answers in our FAQ.
If you have a question we didn’t answer in the FAQ, please use the Contact Us page and we’ll get back to you. If you don’t mind making a phone call, our Front Desk staff would be delighted to help as well! You can reach us at (501) 727-5435.
What does the Institute do?
The Institute is a nonprofit organization that uses the Rockefeller Ethic to bring people together to solve problems collaboratively. Whether participants attend a program, go through a workshop, or gather with others at a conference, we offer everyone who comes to our mountaintop campus a beautiful, productive setting to do important work. Read more about our mission, vision, and method.
What hours are you open to the public?
Monday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We ask that all visitors check-in at the Front Desk so we can greet you, answer questions, and provide a campus map.
The general public are welcome to walk around campus and visit the Legacy Gallery and Theater, the Governor and Lt. Governor’s office, the Roustabout coffee shop, and the Studio Overlook. Only registered guests are allowed to spend time by Lake Abby or use other campus amenities.
Do you still have a restaurant?
While we have ended public food service through what was known as River Rock Grill, The Roustabout, our new coffee shop, is now open!
The Roustabout provides full coffee and beverage service, fresh food stocked daily by our Institute Kitchen staff, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, and ample space to enjoy a snack, visit with colleagues, or open your laptop to finish some last-minute work. The Roustabout’s public hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can view the full menu here. Our food options are grab-and-go, not made to order, and though we do our best to keep our case stocked with a variety of options, not every item is available at all times.
Can anyone visit the Institute?
Yes, we welcome visitors! The majority of our building is used by our conference clients and program or workshop participants, but we have a few historic spaces we’d love you to see.
The 3,000 square-foot Legacy Gallery houses a permanent exhibit titled “Winthrop Rockefeller: a Sphere of Power and Influence Dropped into a River of Need.” The product of an exhaustive survey of some 10,000 photos at the Winthrop Rockefeller Archives at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the exhibit comprises more than 300 restored and enlarged images making up 180 murals and interpretive panels that tell the story of a truly remarkable man, of the mountain he called home, and of the struggles and triumphs of the state he came to love during his time here.
Also located in our main building, the interactive, 26-seat Legacy Theater shows several videos — both historic and documentary — further illuminating Gov. Rockefeller’s life and work.
The “1957 Interim Report,” a fascinating and surprisingly personal overview of Rockefeller’s first years of work at Winrock Farms narrated by Rockefeller himself, offers a unique glimpse into his personality and priorities.
From 1955 to 1973, including his years as governor, Winthrop Rockefeller oversaw his business, political and charitable endeavors from a small office in his farm headquarters atop Petit Jean Mountain that came to embody his personality and work as much as perhaps any other space on the property. It was here that he spent the wee hours of the morning planning the day-to-day activities of the farm, where he agonized over his political positions and strategies, and where he spent the last year of his life reading, writing, and talking with family and friends.
The office has now been carefully restored to as near its original condition as possible — a sort of time capsule with many of Gov. Rockefeller’s telling personal effects and preserved or recreated furnishings.
the state Capitol when he served as lieutenant governor until his untimely death in 2006. Win, Gov. Rockefeller’s only child, embraced the values of his father and held to the same deep-seated concept that “while we would live comfortably with what we inherited and earned, we had the responsibility to see that these resources were used wisely in the service of our fellow man.” Win Paul Rockefeller’s office features a plethora of gifts he received from various people. He kept them all on display as a sign of gratitude, and they range from model airplanes to a Chinese dragon figurine to a rubber duck.
May I take photos on your property?
As we are open to the general public, we allow photographers to use our beautiful natural setting for their photos. We have a simple photography policy and thank you in advance for complying.
- Photos may be taken free of charge when we are open to the public, Monday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- All photographers are asked to call (501) 727-6245 to clear the day and time they’d like to come with our conference planners. This is true even if you plan to come during our regular business hours. This will assure no conference groups will be disturbed and, therefore, you are asked to leave.
- All photographers must check-in at the front desk before going further on campus.
- If a photographer would like to take photos before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. you must call (501) 727-6245 to make a formal reservation and pay a fee.
Can I reserve a room for the Eclipse on April 8, 2024?
We are honored to be hosting the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) for the 2024 Total Eclipse. The Institute campus will be in the band of totality, and ASGC will be conducting various scientific experiments leading up to and on the day of the Eclipse. To facilitate their research and ensure the safety of all involved, the Institute will be closed completely to the public beginning Thursday, April 4 at 5:00 p.m. We will re-open to the public on Wednesday, April 10, at 8:00 a.m. The entrance gates will be closed, and no one without approved credentials will be allowed entry.
Was that a cow I saw? Are you Winrock Farms?
Although you may see cattle in pasture adjacent to the road as you drive towards the Institute, we are not cattle farmers. Much of the acreage surrounding our 188-acre campus belongs to Winrock Farms and often leased to other cattle operations for grazing. Winrock Farms is still owned by the Arkansas Rockefeller family. We do enjoy seeing the cattle, especially the cute calves, but we’re in the business of convening – not cows!
Aren’t there other organizations that share your name?
The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and Winrock International are three completely separate organizations though we do like to think of the other two as cousins, if you will.
Winrock International had its Arkansas headquarters atop Petit Jean (on the site the Institute now occupies) from 1985-2005. In 2005, Winrock International moved its Arkansas office to Little Rock which created space for the creation of the Institute. Winrock’s mission is to “empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources.”
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation is a nonprofit, grant-making organization that “exists to relentlessly pursue economic, educational, social, ethnic, and racial equity for all Arkansans.” They are also headquartered in Little Rock.
Is the Institute part of Petit Jean State Park?
No, but Petit Jean State Park is less than two miles from the Institute. We’re very proud of our neighbor, often referred to as the “crown jewel” of the Arkansas state park system.
Can I hold a special event at the Institute, like a wedding?
We sincerely appreciate the interest but we do not host weddings, reunions, or similar special events. We do, however, host many other meetings.