ason Patera discusses his involvement with the Chicago Academy for the Arts over a twenty year period, beginning when he was a high school intern, and which continued in 1998 when he was a teacher at his first school. Patera is now the Executive Director at the Academy. He discusses the history of the Academy dating back to 1981 when arts enthusiasts established it as an independent performing arts school. Patera explains the school‘s philosophy, student recruitment and eligibility, tuition, scholarship opportunities and its curriculum, which includes both academic subjects and the performing arts. He also discusses the students' projects and performances, and the challenges and advantages of being an independent performing arts school in a large metropolitan area.