United Technologies Corporation

2010 BCA 10 Hall of Fame Honoree

United Technologies Corporation, Hartford, CT

United Technologies Corporation (UTC) recognizes that the arts, like science and engineering, inspire and challenge what is possible and encourage lifelong learning and creativity. UTC has a rich history supporting the arts dating to the mid-1970s when United Aircraft acquired Carrier Corporation and Otis Elevator Company and became United Technologies. The company has spent more than $55 million on exhibitions in thirteen countries on four continents. UTC was named to THE BCA TEN in 2005 and has received BCA’s Business in the Arts Awards and Americans for the Arts’ Corporate Citizenship Award.

During the past decade, UTC employees have given more than $2 million to the United Arts Campaign of the Greater Hartford Art Council with support of the companies matching gift program. The company has matched more than $4.8 million in gifts to the arts during the past 16 years.

UTC encourages its employees to become involved in their local communities resulting in over 50,000 hours of volunteer time annually. The Volunteer Grant Program provides $250 to any qualified organization for which an employee volunteers at least 60 hours per year. In 2009, UTC made more than 509 Volunteer Grants totaling nearly $130,000.

Since 1980, UTC has sponsored more than 60 exhibits in the visual arts and over 500 performances at cultural institutions. Sponsorships are both national and international, with performances and major exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Detroit Symphony, Carnegie Hall, the National Gallery of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In 2005, to celebrate UTC’s 25th Anniversary of supporting the arts the company underwrote a major exhibition of rarely seen drawings by Vincent van Gogh at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and commissioned three contemporary artists to create larger-than-life artwork in New York City.

The company also inaugurated Cities in Transition, an annual effort to commission new works by contemporary artists. In the first year of the program, three artists, Alex Katz, Gary Hume, and Lisa Sanditz, created paintings that were displayed as large-scale billboards in New York City. In 2006, UTC commissioned Chuck Close, Mitch Epstein, and Dayanita Singh to document their reactions to the changing urban environment by photographing three cities.

A new initiative has employees using talents they’ve developed on the job to work with nonprofits on projects to increase operating efficiencies and performance. For example, to help the Mark Twain House stabilize operations, employees gave financial and strategic planning assistance as well as an energy audit; they also provided an energy audit for Hartford Stage to evaluate and contain energy costs; and provided information technology improvements at Connecticut Public Television to enhance customer relations.

In 2009, UTC sponsored a series of 10 lectures titled “Sustainable Communities” in support of an exhibit of the same name. The lecture series presented prominent designers and developers in the green building community speaking on topics important to developing sustainable cities. UTC and Otis have donated almost $700,000 to the National Building Museum since 2000.