The arts area of The Epic is one of the features that makes our facility unique and further redefines recreation. A few options The Epic Media Arts will offer include: Culinary Kitchen, EpicRadio, Art Classes, Artist In-Residence UNT Fellowship, The Epic Theater, Recording Studio, Art Gallery, and more. Below you can read more about the EPIC team that is bringing these art programs to Grand Prairie!
Zach Balch (Center) – Media and Arts Supervisor
With a degree in Outdoor Recreation from the University of North Texas, Zach Balch had his heart set to work in the mountains. However, he fortuitously found his way into the music industry with an internship with The National Academy of Recording Arts and Science (the folks that put on The GRAMMYs) in Austin his senior year. Working with South By Southwest, The Gibson Guitar Showroom and Austin legends Grooveline Horns (Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson, Zac Brown Band) Zach’s love of music became a gateway to a diverse career.
Following his year in Austin, Zach moved back to Dallas in 2011 to pursue a career in songwriting and record producing. He co-founded Flint Creek Records, which has seen the creative process through for dozens of client projects in Dallas, Fort Worth, Nashville, Austin and Lubbock. He recorded and toured extensively before stepping into the music licensing field with FirstCom Music, a Dallas-based division of Universal Music Group. In this role, he placed music in film, TV, Advertising and other audio/video works. He currently teaches Music Business at Media Tech Institute in Carrolton and operates his recording studio and record label.
Zach brings to The Epic not only a degree in Parks and Recreation, but a unique array of professional experience in performing, writing, producing and facilitating other artists.
Jeff Muncy (Right) – Recreation Specialist
Jeff studied at Memphis College of Art, and in 2014 earned a BFA in Fine Arts. Even though he majored in painting, during his last semester he fell in love with illustration.
After graduating, Jeff worked as an instructor in their Community Arts program. While visiting Dallas during holidays and other breaks, Jeff was impressed with how quickly the area was growing while he was in Memphis. So after spending some time teaching, Jeff decided to move back to Dallas for the opportunities it offered. He started working as a freelance illustrator; exhibiting work in more than 20 venues since 2015.
Jeff wanted to find other ways to help his career grow. So to push his work further, he attended the Illustration Master Class in 2016, giving him the opportunity to study with some of the biggest names in illustration. He’s excited to pass on anything he’s learned to aspiring artists in DFW.
During Jeff’s time back in DFW, he realized how scattered the creative communities in the area were. Jeff looks forward to creating a community of artists all over DFW, where everyone can share their experiences and help each other avoid pitfalls of the “starving artist” stigma. Setting a new standard to show that pursuing your passion doesn’t mean you can’t make a living.
Krista Marrs (Left) – Recreation Coordinator
Krista Marrs was born and raised in Carlsbad, New Mexico. She attended the University of New Mexico and earned her Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. While at the University of New Mexico she worked with the student government to book and plan festivals, bands, and events. After graduating college, she decided to move to Texas to help manage her friend’s band. In moving to Dallas she started working part time at a radio station and soon after found herself on tour with a Norwegian pop artist. Once the tour was over she decided it was time to get a full time job with HR at a big four accounting firm.
While working within HR she realized her true love was working with event planning and musicians. When she found out about The Epic she knew that it would be a perfect opportunity for her to get back to the industry that makes her who she is. Krista is excited to work with the local community to program the online radio station to fit the beautiful City of Grand Prairie. Not only will she be programming the radio station, she’ll be booking bands in the theater and helping out in the music studio. She knows that the Arts and Music department will be such an incredible asset to the City of Grand Prairie as well as to DFW as a whole. Krista looks forward to hearing from the community about what they’d like to see from The Epic.