AEIVA began when lead donors Hal and Judy Abroms and Ruth and the late Marvin Engel made a commitment to encourage the growth and advancement of the arts in Birmingham. The groundbreaking ceremony on November 18, 2011, marked the beginning of the construction process of AEIVA. The iconic building, designed by Randall Stout, completes the arts district within the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in affiliation with the Alys Robinson Stephens Performing Arts Center.