The Cultural Council (Kulturrat Österreich), a consortium of 10 interest groups and professional associations representing the interests of art, cultural and media workers, is a platform for common cultural policy concerns and objectives. The council represents these issues towards politics, media and administration, and initiates, promotes and publishes debates on cultural, educational, media and social policies (see chapter 7.2.4). Further associations advocate the interests of particular groups, e.g. mica – music austria, an independent, non-profit association to support musicians; the Association of Cultural Mediators, an advocacy group for the professionals in museums; and Kreativwirtschaft Austria as part of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber promotes the interests of the Creative Industries in Austria and the EU.
Many private, non-profit initiatives and a lot of volunteers are active in the cultural field: according to the 2nd Volunteering Report (2015), more than 432 000 volunteers are actively engaged in cultural associations where they work at least about 1.8 million hours per week. Thus, the voluntary cultural sector is the second largest (ranking after sports) in terms of both the number of volunteers as well as working hours per week.
Important players to promote culture and the arts are private corporations like foundations commercial enterprises, insurances or banks, e.g. Erste Bank, that sponsor art and culture on a significant scale. Since 2016, cultural sponsoring is tax deductible.