Arts management literature has explored the origins of the field (does arts management come from management, or some other field?), the topic of what arts managers do (what tasks or functions they perform), and how they should best be trained (practice, or theory, or both?). Very little has been written, however, about the role arts managers play in society for the benefit of art, artists, and public, and little has been said about how the function of arts manager may differ from its role. This chapter explores the distinction between role and function concerning arts managers by examining relevant literature and contexts in which “arts manager” is the inheritor of diametrically opposed traditions. On the one hand, arts management draws from managerialism’s roots in the Industrial Revolution. On the other, it draws on Romantic notions of the arts that arose in contrast to the values of business and industry. The aim is to examine how the role of arts manager might emerge from contrasting traditions and concludes with thoughts on the directions a conversation on arts managers’ role might take for future benefit.