Cheap$kate: Free things to do in NYC this week

Celebrate Brooklyn and NYC with these free events.

Janelle Monáe kicks off the 36th season of Celebrate Brooklyn!

Celebrate Brooklyn! kicks off its 36th season this week with Janelle Monáe taking the stage at the Prospect Park Bandshell. Monáe’s futuristic and simultaneously retro sound starts the lineup of a plethora of FREE performances, including The Soul Rebels, Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen and The Lost Bayou Ramblers, all of whom take the stage this Saturday evening. And that’s just the start of it, so come on out and celebrate! (Wednesday, 8 p.m., FREE, Prospect Park Bandshell, Prospect Park West & Ninth St., Park Slope,

Celeb meet-and-greet: Alison Sweeney

Actress, author and host of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” Alison Sweeney will be meeting fans and signing copies of her latest novel, “Scared Scriptless,” tomorrow at the NBC Experience Store. The event is FREE but for front-of-line privileges, you’ll have to purchase the book at the store. (Tomorrow, 3 p.m., FREE, NBC Experience Store, Rockefeller Plaza & W. 49th St., 212-664-3700,

Change of Perspective: How Math Helps Us See the World Differently

We all know it’s important to be able to take on and understand different perspectives, but did you know that this skill is crucial in the world of mathematics as well? Join mathematician Michael Orrison this Wednesday at MoMath for a look at how math can help us understand the effect a change of perspective can have. (Wednesday, 4 p.m. & 6:30 p.m., FREE, National Museum of Mathematics, 11 E. 26th St., 212-542-0566, /math-encounters)

Tenement Talks: Yellow Peril!

Jack Tchen and Dylan Yeats lead this edition of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s Tenement Talks, where they’ll address anti-Asian images and writing that reinforced racist ideas in Western culture. The scholars will explore paintings, photos, posters, comics and other media that have contributed to anti-Asian sentiments. (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., FREE, Lower East Side Tenement Museum Visitor Center, 103 Orchard St., 212-982-8420,

SciCafe: Understanding Autism

Princeton associate professor of neuroscience and molecular biology Samuel Wang leads this edition of the American Museum of Natural History’s SciCafe, focusing on research being done around brain function and how disruptions during key periods in brain development may lead to autistic-like behaviors. (Wednesday, 7 p.m., doors at 6:30 p.m., FREE with cash bar, 21+, seating first-come, first-served, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St., enter at 77th St., 212-769-5100,

‘Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou 1928-2014’

In honor of the late author and activist Maya Angelou, the New York Public Library has opened a FREE commemorative exhibition, “Phenomenal Woman: Maya Angelou 1928-2014,” which includes items from Angelou’s papers, letters, handwritten manuscripts, photos, books and more. The exhibit runs through June 30 at The Schomburg Center. (Closes June 30, Mon., Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-8 p.m., FREE, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, 917-275-6975,