(Right) Betty & Milt Younger
Arts and Entertainment Enthusiasts
By Jason Gutierrez

Involved. Active. Supportive. Visionaries. All descriptions of Milt and Betty Younger. The Youngers have among the main leaders for some of the city's biggest projects when it comes to education and the visual and performing arts.

If two Scottish Terriers weren't enough to keep the Youngers busy, the future of visual and performing arts are always on the couple's minds. Milt is an advocate and advisor of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra while Betty is a long time sculptor and advocate of having art in public places.

Milt, a successful lawyer with Chain, Younger, Cohn & Stiles law firm, has been actively involved with the symphony for the past six years. He originally took over as president and now serves as the group's personal advisor. During this time, Milt has helped the group raise its then-dwindling budget to a strong $1 million and growing.

"The symphony is something everyone should be able to enjoy," Milt says. "Programs like this can't survive without the community. We have terrific talent here."

Milt's passion for classical music is derived from his childhood experience of playing violin. Both Milt and Betty were born in Bakersfield and went to high school together. After attending Stanford University and Stanford Law School, Milt returned to Bakersfield to work with local lawyer Morris Chain. Betty was a high school teacher at Bakersfield High, and together the Youngers were determined to continue to make Bakersfield the best place possible for them to raise a family.

"Music is an important part of my life," Milt says. "I listen to it while I get ready in the morning and drive to work. It's always around me. The symphony showcases some of the best composers in the world. But I have to say, I'm extremely proud of Betty, her art and her dedication to Bakersfield."

The two not only share goals to improve downtown Bakersfield but also to establish a well-respected arts district. The couple make a complimentary item a combination of right and left brain activity, as Betty says.

"I'm creative and artistic and Milt is very organized and looks at facts," she says. "No matter which art form we talk about, there is one thing we both agree on: art can be a common voice between races and cultures."

Betty's art can be seen in various parts of town. Primarily, her sculptures are displayed at private residences, the Bakersfield Museum of Art and the courtyard of The Bank of America building downtown. Currently, Betty is working on a special sculpture for The Bakersfield Rescue Mission. She also has working designs for CALM and a special project for downtown.

Meanwhile, Milt is hopeful for raising funds for a special performing arts center to be included in the Mill Creek Project that would make downtown Bakersfield the ultimate livable/workable environment.

"Betty's vision of art in public places matches my vision for the symphony," Milt says. "The more exposure we can gain the better. Our time is limited on what we can do for the arts in the community. We hope to inspire future generations to continue to keep art and culture alive."

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