News Release

Verizon Wireless a Major Sponsor of the 11th Annual Chicago Tribune African Festival of the Arts

August 30, 2000

Carolyn A. Schamberger
Verizon Wireless
414-390-8483

CHICAGO — Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless provider in the U.S., is a principle sponsor of the 11th Annual Chicago Tribune African Festival of the Arts, the largest celebration of African art and culture in the Midwest. The festival will be held Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1 to 4, in Washington Park at 55th and Cottage Grove from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The festival, which began as a street fair, has since become one of the country's premier festivals focusing on Africa. The festival has something to delight each of the five senses-live music and performances, visual artistry, craft-making and authentic cuisine.

Events will include the recreation of an African marketplace featuring more than 200 artists and crafts people, a Fine Arts Exhibition, a Children and Family Pavilion, a food court with African and Soul Food cuisine and a fashion show.

Verizon Wireless is the official sponsor of the main sound stage, where international and local musicians will provide live entertainment throughout the weekend. In addition to live music, the sound stage will also host various activities, announcements, raffles and entertainment.

"The African Festival of the Arts has rightfully earned a place as one of the best cultural events in the country and we are proud to be a part of it," said Greg Klimek, President, Chicago Region-Verizon Wireless.

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About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 25.6 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp --now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) - and Vodafone (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The new company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter.

About the Great Lakes Area

The Great Lakes Area of Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois. The Great Lakes Area includes the Greater Chicago market and Northern and Central Illinois; the Greater Indianapolis market and most of Indiana; the Greater St. Louis and Cape Girardeau markets of Missouri; the Greater Milwaukee, Green Bay and Madison markets and other areas of Wisconsin; Detroit, and Southeast and Central Michigan markets; and the Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland markets and much of Ohio. The Great Lakes Area serves more than 5.6 million customers and has a potential customer base of 41.2 million.

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