This chapter outlines factors that impact on cultural practice: considering first the cultural industries and how practitioners and their activities fit into them, and then the relationships between governments and the arts. The cultural industries constitute the environment within which musicians conduct much of their practice. Performance is a fundamental part of a musician's life, for many this engagement primarily through teaching, ensemble direction, technology and management. The reality is that musicians sustain their careers within an increasingly complex and competitive cultural environment. Cultural industries as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) includes traditional cultural activities of creation and expression together with support services and related activities with some cultural content such as newspapers, multimedia and publishing. The Australian Labor government emphasized the role of culture in bringing together people in Australia's multicultural society. The cultural environment is paramount to identifying potential sources of funding, opportunities for employment, sources of professional development, networks and other resources.