UTA project impact
Images courtesy of UTA

UTA: Making an impact

by Chris Day

With an average of 12 hours spent in the office each day, dozens of emails sent after the kids are in bed, and weekends often spent prepping for important signing meetings, the life of a Hollywood agent is always filled with work. Every year, however, United Talent Agency (UTA) is able channel some of that tireless work ethic back into the community.

During the week of July 22-26, United Talent Agency conducted its 2nd annual Project Impact, a week of philanthropy and volunteerism that engaged the agency’s entire workforce in both its Los Angeles and New York offices. The week kicked off with a talk from Jeffrey Katzenberg, the co-founder CEO of DreamWorks Animation and one of Los Angeles’ most prominent philanthropists. UTA managing director David Kramer moderated the hour-long discussion, which ended with Katzenberg’s parting words: “exceed expectations,” both professionally and philanthropically.

With Katzenberg’s comments in mind, the agency embarked on the rest of the week’s Project Impact agenda. They included the agency’s annual Summer Bash at which actors, writers, filmmakers, studio executives and other industry luminaries mingled over drinks to benefit the agency’s arts and literary programs at University High School in L.A. Unified School District. Other activities that week included a book sorting event with BookEnds and a letter writing campaign to veterans with Operation Gratitude.

The week culminated in an all-agency Volunteer Day, where 350 employees were spread across 15 sites throughout Los Angeles and New York City, where they beautified family centers, played with seriously ill kids, and cooked meals for the hungry.

The following Monday the agency returned to the hustle and bustle of its main business, representing the careers of world class artists, but something was different. Emails flew with stories of inspiration from the past week and how new actions will be taken on their own time. One employee was biking to raise money for Best Buddies International, another was participating in the Malibu Triathlon to raise money for CoachArt. And two employee groups were formed – one to attend a training session with The Amanda Foundation to walk the organization’s rescue dogs during their lunch break and another to run/walk 100 collective miles to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

It has been amazing to watch how a change of pace for one week could not only make a significant impact in the community, but also motivate new individual efforts that will last throughout the year, and possibly a lifetime.

Employees walked rescue dogs and played with cats at The Amanda Foundation.

At Children’s Hospital LA, volunteers interacted with children with the Art of Elysium.

UTA participated in the Boys and Girls Club of Venice’s Summer Olympics on the last day of summer camp.

Children’s Defense Fund: At Children’s Defense Fund, volunteers read books to kids.

Joined City Year Corps Members at the Mar Vista Family Center to paint a mural at the children’s playground.

UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer distributes paint and art supplies to kids at CoachArt.

UTA led summer camp activities with Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA).

UTA painted and refurbished KIPP:LA’s interior.

Partnered with the LA River Corp and Village Gardeners to rid the waterway of trash and other pollutants.

Assembling care packages for service members and veterans at Operation Gratitude.

Employees beautified the clinic by refurbishing the children’s playroom and garden.

Organizing the Saban Free Clinic donation closet for those in need.

Employees prepped meals at Project Angel Food.

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Chris Day

About Chris Day

The author is head of Corporate Communications for United Talent Agency. UTA is a premier global talent and literary agency representing many of the world’s best known artists and brands working in film, television, digital media, music and books, as well as film finance, corporate consulting, brand strategy, licensing, endorsements and branded entertainment.

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