The arts administrator aims to create an aesthetic contract between an artist and an audience in such a way that the largest possible number of people receive the maximum pleasure and benefit from the art. At different times, and within the different arts, this contract may be created in a variety of ways: by promoting club entertainment, by setting up and advertising a performance in a publicly licensed building, by broadcasting into people's homes, by publishing a book, selling a CD, making a community video, busking, presenting a concert on a public bandstand, by erecting a public sculpture, painting a mural, producing a street event, by teaching an evening class, or by dozens of other means. Only in totalitarian states does art reach its public solely by means of specially designated culture houses and the like. Even then, within such societies there is often an arts underground disseminating the forbidden arts.
In more open democracies the arts may reach their public in parks, private homes, on sea and in the air, in shopping arcades and churches, as well as through arts centres, concert halls, galleries and other designated arts venues. Though arts administrators frequently work to promote a particular venue, they must always bear in mind that the significant contact between artist and audience does not take place wholly in the building where the right to enjoy it was purchased, and it may take place (as with the purchase from a bookshop of a book of poetry) wholly outside it.
Even in the performing arts, good arts administration cannot be measured solely by ticket sales. After all, the performance may not have been worth putting on. Or the audience may not make contact with the performed work at all (they may, as jet-lagged tourist audiences are supposed to do, fall asleep). Or, sometimes, members of an audience may only come fully to understand and enjoy the work much later. Surprising artistic experiences can come to us all by our own firesides, out walking, or waiting for a bus.