A not-for-profit arts organization usually takes the form of a not-for-profit corporation, association, or foundation. Such organizations are formed for the purpose of developing and promoting the work of artists in various visual and performing art forms such as film, sculpture, dance, painting, multimedia, poetry, and performance art.
Although museums and performing arts societies have existed for centuries, they have proliferated since the end of World War II. In particular, government sponsored organizations such as the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Canada Council, the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, have been created to fund award grants to help promote the development of art and culture.
There are also not-for-profit legal service organizations providing services to artists and arts and cultural organizations. Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (PVLA) is one such organization. Through its volunteer attorneys PVLA provides non-criminal legal assistance to artists and arts and cultural organizations on arts related issues.