Ferneasa Cutno, founder and Artistic Director of Cutno Dance Center & Magnolia Dance Theatre, for 18 years has worked with students; giving them not only technique and exposure to the arts, but also life-skills that they can carry to all aspects of their lives. As a native New Orleans, Ferneasa made Augusta her home. In 1995 she opened her studio in Augusta, GA after working at Davidson Fine Arts and The Augusta Ballet, where she educates students primarily in the area of dance/performing arts education. Her name and reputation not only have become synonymous with quality of dance instruction, but also with quality care for the overall student. She is less impressed with the competitive field of dance than she is with the knowledge that the students she comes in contact with appreciate the art form and are ready for the next level if that’s what they desire.
Ms. Cutno has performed professionally with several companies, including the Augusta Ballet, New Orleans Ballet Ensemble, Lula Elzy Dance Ensemble, Samba Rio, and Garth Fagan Dance. She has also served as a dance educator for the Richmond County School System and surrounding areas including Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High School and the Georgia’s Governor’s Honors Program at Valdosta State University.
In 2002 she established the Cutno Artist Non-Profit Group giving her the ability to offer Community classes and a large number of Scholarships to underserved youth. Ms. Cutno balances the care of her dance center with being an active member of the CSRA African American Arts alliance and various other organizations, volunteering at numerous organizations such as Kids with A Future after School program, and being a caring and loving mother to her son, Naday.
Ms. Cutno has been awarded many times for her contributions to the Augusta community. Ferneasa is the first woman ever nominated by a student and awarded the 2012 Woman of Distinction. She has received the City of Augusta Proclamation Ferneasa A. Cutno Day in 2004. She also received the Outstanding Vision Award in 2005. Finally she has received the Shero Award in 2010. Ferneasa Cutno is a positive role model for today’s youth and even for her peers.