ELIZABETH Walsh is a woman many in the Tasmanian arts world ought to thank.
Without her, the biennial 10 Days on the Island festival may not have got off the ground and be where it is today.
Mrs Walsh moved to Tasmania from Sydney 14 years ago to help establish the first festival as its program manager. Previous she was the program manager of the Sydney Festival, the Sydney Opera House Trust and held various roles with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus.
She got hooked on Tasmania and the ``kind of community and artists that lived here'', staying on to be the executive producer of the festival for three years and then the artistic director for six - directing the 2007, 2009 and 2011 festivals.
However, this week, Mrs Walsh and her husband, Stefan Kotuziak, have announced they are moving back to the mainland.
``There's a time when you're 100 per cent engaged with something and a time when you say it's no longer mine, and that time has well and truly come for me,'' Mrs Walsh said.
Seeing Tasmania's art scene grow over the past 14 years, as not only the artistic director of 10 Days on the Island, but also the chairwoman of the inaugural Theatre Council of Tasmania, is what Mrs Walsh pinpoints as a great joy.
``The way in which the community has embraced the artists that live here and how companies and artists have been able to dream bigger has really grown,'' she said.
``And that's inspirational.''
Mrs Walsh will still spend another two years chairing the Australian Council of the Arts and has hopes of getting back involved in the Melbourne arts scene.
David Malacari has been appointed the artistic director of Ten Days on the Island for 2015.