What does it mean to be a patron?

In independent music and the fine arts, the term patron is often thrown around casually; everyone seems to know what it means and why patrons are important. We forget that this is not always understood by others!

And “being a patron” to something in the general sense (i.e. the arts) can be different from being a patron to a particular artist or project.  … More What does it mean to be a patron?