Naomi was born and raised in Minnesota. She received her bachelors in art history and English literature at the University of Minnesota. With intentions to earn a doctorate degree in Islamic Art and Architecture, she traded one unstable career path for another, and pursued theater instead. From Shakespeare to contemporary, she acted in plays while her own writings were produced in Minneapolis and St. Paul. At that time, she also worked in voter outreach for the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Ko played Sungmi in Justin Simien's award-winning film, Dear White People, which debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. She is also a storyteller, a Moth StorySlam winner, and Mortified performer. She has ghostwritten the occasional romance novel. In 2016, Naomi was awarded with the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Funding Grant and is a Knights Art Challenge Winner with playwrights and performers May Lee-Yang and Saymoukda Vongsay. They have also received a Solidarity MN for their work to support immigrants and refugees in Minnesota through art and comedy. Naomi is a recipient of a 2017 McKnight Media Artist Fellowship, administered by IFP Minnesota and funded by The McKnight Foundation.
Passionate about education and advocacy, Naomi performs and speaks at colleges, universities, and conferences across the country to mentor young POCs and diverse students reach their potential.
Her work is currently in development. One will be distributed at the end of 2017. Stay tuned.
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