We had the good fortune of connecting with Maria Navaratne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Maria, how do you think about risk?
I think taking risks is so embedded in my whole being that I don’t ever consciously choose the easiest path in my life and career. Moving to the USA from the UK in 2002 was a very briefly calculated risk! I was in my thirties, living in London with my husband and young daughter, with a stressful career managing the Special Needs Provision in a very challenging Elementary School. I needed a reset and I knew I wanted to have another child away from the stresses of London life. We moved to California, staying with family and at every turn, over 18 years, we have always chosen the hardest route, and taken the greatest risk in order to fulfill our dream of making a life in the US.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is E11 Creative. E11 has provided Arts Administration and Project Management alongside hands-on progressive arts education for children ages 3+, since 2012. E11 Creative Workshop for Children has taught hundreds of children from Manitou and Colorado Springs both Preschool, Afterschool and Summer-long Camps. Unfortunately, the pandemic has forced us to close our children’s Reggio Emilia and Teaching-for-Artistic-
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When friends and family visit from the UK, I love to show them sites that are iconically Rocky Mountain and the most contrast to back home. Coming from the East End of London, having Garden of the Gods as my local park is a huge contrast! It’s hard to beat the diversity of cuisine back home but Urban Tandoor, and Eim Thai do a good job. Breakfast at Adam’s Mountain Cafe, or The Pantry in Green Mountain Falls makes a great start to a day of sightseeing in and around Manitou Springs. My favorite hang out is always the Manitou Art Center and I am always so proud to introduce my UK friends and family to my American friends at the MAC. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Alain Navaratne – always right along there with me