Welcome Rebecca Mzengi Corey

Welcome Rebecca Mzengi Corey

We are so excited to welcome Rebecca Mzengi Corey as the Managing Director of Open Source Gallery!

Rebecca Mzengi Corey is an arts practitioner whose interdisciplinary work includes visual art, curation, filmmaking, and cultural institution building and management. She has held top leadership roles at several major arts institutions in East Africa, where she lived and worked for over a decade (2009-23). While serving as Artistic and Executive Director of Nafasi Art Space in Dar es Salaam, she founded the Nafasi Academy for Contemporary Art and Expression, Tanzania’s first contemporary art training program for artists, curators and cultural workers, and oversaw the development of the FEEL FREE Fund, which provides funding, incubation, and mentorship to artist-led initiatives across the country. She also spearheaded efforts to create a more thriving and networked arts ecosystem across the region. Her work in cultural heritage preservation and promotion has been covered in international media such as NPR, CNN Inside Africa, OkayAfrica and Forbes, among others. She has curated a number of solo and group exhibitions, including “Living Art, Living History” for the East Africa Art Biennale in 2021 and “ReMix” at the Congo Biennale in 2022. She sees the arts as a space for radical imagination, critical thought, and reciprocity and care. In 2023, she re-located to Brooklyn, NY and is excited to have joined Open Source Gallery as Managing Director.


Dear Open Source Friends,

Hello! I’m Rebecca, the newest member of the Open Source team. As the first ever Managing Director of the organization, I join a space with deep roots and a farsighted vision. Just as visitors are surprised by the unexpected wonders they find when they stumble across our gallery off the beaten NYC art path, I too was astounded at my good fortune in discovering Open Source – a place where the orientation of contemporary art to society is reimagined, where isolation is replaced with genuine interactions, and critical thinking is balanced with a warm and human touch.

I came to Brooklyn after spending more than ten years based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where I worked at the intersection of arts and culture and social development. There, I saw firsthand how artistic creation and engagement can initiate transformative shifts in communities, from the ground up. I became convinced that given safe space and freedom to create, there is boundless potential for what artists can do when it comes to energizing dialogue, troubling stagnant thinking, and creating meaningful emotional and social connections between diverse people. I feared that in moving to New York, despite its cultural riches, I might find a scarcity of truly community-oriented, actively engaged art spaces. Luckily, I found Open Source and those fears were put to rest.

Invited to join Open Source to help the organization professionalize the administrative and financial side of its work, I am eager to see us evolve not seeking growth for its own sake, but as a garden blooms the more its ecosystem is nourished. By listening to, by working with, by reaching out toward rays of light and lashes of rain – that is how we, too, will grow and flourish. We humans must find new ways of living sustainably and humanely, and what better way than through artistic endeavor. But for such an alternative approach to succeed, we also need the support of people who believe in it!

In just a few days, our annual Art Auction will open for bidding online, and then on December 10th, we’ll host a fundraising Gala to celebrate the work we’ve done this year and the exciting things to come in 2024 and beyond. I’m so excited to have this chance to meet in person with more of the artists, community members, and friends who make Open Source the place of dreaming and doing that it is. I hope you will join us and book your tickets now!

Every day in our office I am greeted by this work by Tahir Karmali, who exhibited in our gallery in September-October 2023.

3 drawings with abstract mountains
Tahir Karmali, Untitled (Montello), 30″ x 22″ (triptych), conté on paper, 2021. Image courtesy of the artist.

This triptych was a part of our 2022 Auction, and our Founder and Artistic Director Monika Wuhrer decided to keep it close by. I love seeing this piece daily because it reminds me of the mountains we strive to climb, and the sights we are so lucky to see over each new summit. It also reminds me of the way time shapes and molds us, making us both humble and proud.

Please reach out to me to share your memories, experiences, and hopes for our shared future. I’m excited to hear how Open Source can help bring the spirit of creativity, freedom, and empathy to you, your neighborhood, and your community at large.

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope to meet many of you at this year’s Gala.


Rebecca Yeong Ae Mzengi Corey