Managers and administrative leaders of arts organizations provide a bridge between art, artists, and audiences. They combine the tools of business—management, marketing, financial accounting, operations, negotiation—with the tools of community-building—fundraising, development, education, outreach, volunteerism, partnership—to make thriving and vital spaces for arts and culture.
While businesses in arts, entertainment, and culture come in many forms, ''Arts Administration'' usually refers specifically to organizations formed as nonprofit or public organizations. These organizations make only a portion of their total revenues from earned income (such as ticket sales or gate fees), often relying on contributed income to cover the true costs of their work. As a group, nonprofit arts and culture organizations foster a vast array of cultural experiences in small towns, big cities, and through many media—from symphonies to jazz bands, theaters to sculpture gardens, museums to community arts centers, public radio to on-line ventures.