Financial Leadership for the Arts

Sustainable Strategies for Creative Organizations

By Cleopatra Charles, Margaret F. Sloan

284 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 4 figs., 23 tables, appends., notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7878-8
    Published: April 2024
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7879-5
    Published: April 2024

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This accessible, practical textbook will prepare leaders in the arts to make the best possible decisions for the financial sustainability of their organizations. Designed for individuals without formal training or previous on-the-job experience in nonprofit management or accounting, Financial Leadership for the Arts makes organizational finance simple and clear, freeing creative leaders to do their important work for communities. Governing board leaders, working professionals, and students alike will appreciate clear case studies, as well as the several chapters that examine contemporary challenges and their implications for present and future financial management, program management, and program evaluation.

Written by two experts in public affairs and nonprofit leadership with deep experience in teaching and fiscal management, this book provides guidance that will be immediately applicable to arts leaders' work, helping them continue to excel in their creative endeavors—and not only keep the house lights on, but thrive.

About the Author

Cleopatra Charles is associate professor at Rutgers University in the School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Margaret F. Sloan is director, professor, and advisor of community and nonprofit leadership at James Madison University.
For more information about Cleopatra Charles, visit the Author Page.


"This book is so needed! The authors not only offer an accessible approach to financial management but also highlight the power of financial knowledge for resilient arts leaders." —Kate Keeney, University of Maryland

"Artfully and engagingly written, this book (by people who 'get it') provides dozens of practical takeaways nonprofit arts leaders can immediately apply in their split-screen world of programming and funding." —Jenny Burden, executive director, Arts Council of the Valley

"What a winner! This text weaves classic content on arts management with current research and the innovative thinking required for today's managers. It provides the most thorough coverage of any book I know." —Mark Hager, professor emeritus, Arizona State University

"This book meets creative arts and culture leaders in the complex, and often daunting, landscape of nonprofit finances. It's a relatable guide that points the way and gives leaders permission to understand the hard questions. I would highly recommend it to all my clients!" —Tamara Keshecki, AINOK Consulting, LLC

"This book champions the radical idea that artists should be paid well for their work. Bridging the divide between art making and healthy business practices, this practical guide is a must-have for anyone looking to make a living with their art and for any business professional engaging in artistic endeavors." —Brian Smallwood, author of Productivity through Wellness for Live Entertainment and Theatre Technicians

"Elevate your arts leadership with this book's essential financial insights: navigate complexities, drive sustainability, and thrive creatively. A must-read without overwhelming jargon for board members, professionals, and students." —Mirae Kim, Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University