There is no perfect nonprofit organization of any kind. All nonprofits are experiments in righting some crucial societal wrong.
For the arts, that wrong is ignorance. It is complacence. It is the invisibility of the big picture. The visual and performing arts bring us beauty, power, and intellect. The opposite of all those words, of course, is nothingness.
Art is never for art’s sake because it is condescending to anthropomorphize it.
When great nonprofit arts organizations look at their core ambitions and value, they view their work as an innovative tool toward the betterment of society.
Commercial arts organizations’ goals begin and end with profits. Mediocre arts nonprofits goals are measured by their art. Great arts organizations’ goals involve righting the crucial societal wrong.
Final note: Great nonprofits don’t consider self-survival a worthy mission. Mediocre ones do.