WASHINGTON — The phone calls and emails began coming in a few weeks ago to the Nebraska congressional delegation — all Republicans, and all potentially crucial to an expected fight over the very existence of the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities under President Trump.
The offices of Senators Ben Sasse and Deb Fischer and Representative Don Bacon heard from Erika Overturff, artistic director of Ballet Nebraska in Omaha.
Morrie Enders, who runs the Lincoln Community Playhouse, called the senators and Representative Jeff Fortenberry.
Andrew Norman, who promotes local music at a nonprofit called Hear Nebraska, put all five of the state’s federal lawmakers on speed dial.
“I have been calling them once a day,” he said.
With Trump administration officials now preparing deep cuts in domestic spending, including the possible elimination of the endowments, Republicans from politically red states like Nebraska could be decisive in saving federal funds for the arts and humanities.